Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Roasting Snowmen & Finding Pickles

This year was my favorite Christmas. But take that proclamation with a grain of salt because in the same way my favorite song in the whole wide world changes weekly, I always think this Christmas is the best.

But this one really was the best! Because we got a white Christmas. Growing up in the desert, snow on any day feels like a holiday. But snow on Christmas...holy crap. It feels like a miracle. I guess now that we live in the mountains, we can expect more white Christmases in the future. But based on the excited buzz from all the other mountain residents, I can tell snow on Christmas day is pretty rare, even for up here. So yeah, I might have been a little weepy about it. :P

Christmas was great in other ways too, besides the snow. Clint's parents spent the night on Christmas Eve. We did our normal pajama party with breakfast for dinner. But this year we played a new hilarious 'Build a Snowman' game with giant marshmallows. The roll of your dice determines which part you add to your snowman--eye, buttons, arm, etc. Clint kept putting body parts that didn't belong (I'll let you use your imagination on that one). Here's my guy, all adorable and un-obscene:

Later, when I won the game, in a show of good sportsmanship, Clint staked his snowman and roasted him in our fireplace. Then he ate him.

*Warning: The following images might be too graphic for younger viewers.

Okay, I might have had a bite of the fella too.  

We also played the most cutthroat gift-exchange game ever, one that makes the traditional White Elephant gift exchange seem polite. It would take too long to explain the rules here, but it was savage. And of course, as we do every year, we played 'Find the Pickle'. Here's some of us (our booties at least) searching for it.

Even George the dog had his nose in the tree, looking for that allusive pickle. Clint finally found it and won a frying pan.

Oh, and in the true tradition of Christmas, the boys ended up having a light saber battle on the patio.

On Christmas morning we woke up to snow! Oh yeah, I mentioned that already, didn't I. After oohing and ahhing over it, we ate breakfast with Teri and Carey and then opened up presents. Clint, the gift ninja, struck again. He built for me--from scratch--this hanging light fixture:

It's larger, prettier, and more rustic in person. I had NO idea I was getting this for Christmas, which Clint found amusing because apparently he and Elijah created quite a ruckus in the garage when they were whipping the wood beam with chains in order to distress it. (I can only imagine what our neighbors thought was going on).

Later that morning, we drove to my sister's house for Christmas with my side of the family, having to bulldoze our way through two unplowed roads. I'd like to say it was a chore, but we didn't care. Because...snow!

I was going to write more here about Christmas at my sis's, but I'm starting to lose steam. So I'll just sum it up by saying Shan's house was the usual craziness, with tons of delicious food, an entire fortress of presents, and lots of merriment.

That last part sounds cheesy, but it's allowed since this is a post about Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Bike Riding in Santa's Village

I have my second New Year's resolution! It's to go here at least once a month:

Image result for skypark at santa's village

Image result for skypark at santa's village

Image result for skypark at santa's village

This is Santa's Village, and it's only ten minutes from my house. It's been around since I was a kid, but ironically my first time coming here wasn't until I was an adult. Specifically, last weekend. As you can see, it's pretty adorable and magical. My sis and I spent most of our time ice-skating and drinking the most delicious hot cider (spiked with Maker's Mark since I had a nasty cold and whiskey is my DayQuil). The kids meanwhile ran around climbing rock walls and doing who knows what else.

You might be thinking I've lost my mind wanting to come here once a month in 2019. Adorable and magical is good and all, but why the heck would I want to visit a place replicating the North Pole in, say, July? But believe it or not, this place is actually open all year long, and that's because in summer the emphasis is on THIS:

Related image

See the source image

Skypark! It's a bike park at Santa's Village with awesome trails for all levels of riders, ranging from beginning to expert. They have bikes to rent, or you can bring your own. Clint and I purchased mountain bikes last year and have been looking for some awesome trails around here, and I dare say it doesn't get better than this. The best part of it is the trails dump you out right into the village. Specifically, the bar (a very cute and quaint cottagy-looking bar). Which means I can finish my bike ride with a nice cold beer or refreshing margarita! 

This is heaven to me, guys.

Oh, the village also has rock climbing for the kids, zip-lining, and a rollerskating rink (that switches to ice-skating in winter). So we'll have all sorts of entertainment.

So here goes:

New Year's Resolution #2: 

I will get my lazy butt to Skypark once a month to enjoy fun, outdoorsy stuff with the fam. 

It seems weird that I have to make something fun into a resolution, but I kinda have to. This past year or so I've become a huge home-body. I'm exhausted from working all week so the temptation to spend my weekends as a hermit is hard to resist. 

To ensure I meet this resolution, Clint and I purchased our season passes last night. I can't wait for warmer weather! But cold weather is good too...that just means more ice-skating and spiked cider. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

You Take a Piece of Meat with You

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When I was seven, my sister and I argued in the car over the 1985 song "Every Time You Go Away." She claimed Paul Young was singing "Every time you go away, you take a piece of me with you." I was appalled, unable to conceive of why my sister viewed the singer's girlfriend as a cannibal who enjoyed walking away with a piece of his flesh every time the two parted ways. I told her it was clear that what Young was actually singing was "Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you." Because, you know, every one likes a snack for the road.

Anyway, we argued our points, both convinced that we were right, but with no way to prove it. The internet had yet to exist. 

Throughout the years, this occurred many times with many songs. And my sister and I weren't the only ones confusing lyrics. Even though it wasn't our generation of music, my entire graduating class used to sing Creedence Clearwater's song 'Bad Moon Rising' as:
Don't go around tonight 
Well, it's bound to take your life 
There's a bathroom on the right
Such a polite song, right? To stop in the middle of the lyrics to give listeners directions to the bathroom.

But it wasn't merely songs we debated about. It was any random topic under the sun. And the conclusion was always the same: There was no conclusion. Unless we were willing to go to the library to research answers to our questions (some of them nearly impossible to research, such as song lyrics or pop culture), we would never know--until we were adults--who was right and who was wrong.

It got me thinking: I miss those days. I miss the days where people engaged in lively debates without being able to immediately end the discussion with a quick fact-check on Google. I guess it's a funny thing to miss, but there's something I treasure about debating a pointless or silly topic for hours, knowing I'll never truly know who is right and who is wrong. As a kid, that suspension of an answer stretched a debate out for days, weeks, and sometimes (as was the case with the meat song), years. And then, ten years later when you finally have the solution to the riddle and you can put the argument to rest, it's that much more satisfying.

Having answers right at your fingertips with no waiting, wondering, or work (the old www) has taken away something special.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Early Resolution

Here are two entries I posted when I first started blogging over nine years ago:

I've talked about this before, but I'm going to say it again. I think I had it right back then. My posts were short and to the point, with very little context. I never felt pressure to give a bunch of updates or to post 'quality' material; I just wrote whatever nonsense popped in my head, which made me love blogging and stick with it. Unlike now, where blogging is a burden. Every time I sign on, I think "How can I possible make up for four months of no blogging?"

The answer is, I can't. And who cares. 

My New Year's resolution is to start blogging again, even if that means short obscure entries that leave readers (assuming I have any visages of those left) scratching their heads. But like any goal, I need something measurable. So how about a minimum of one post a week? 

So, here we go: 
New Year's Resolution #1: 
I will write a short and lame post once a week.

Another kick-ass resolution, right up there with 2017 in which I resolved to be boring. Or 2016 in which I vowed to be a hermit crab stuffed in a glass bottle. (It might be time to read a book on all of this resolution-making business).