Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Good Christmas

I had a good Christmas this year, and I sincerely hope each of you did, too.  As is usual, ours was quiet, but really nice.  The only family I have nearby are Mom and Dad, and I'm grateful to have them close.  Our usual holiday routine is for me to have them over to my apartment on Christmas Eve, then I go to their house on Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, I had a little spread prepared: cheese ball, ham ball, barbequed meatballs, ham rolls, cranberry salad, snack mix, lemon pound cake, and pumpkin spice cupcakes.  We indulged in holiday goodies, then called Kris in Australia.  After we'd had a good telephone visit with her and Louise, we exchanged gifts.  It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed spending time together.

On Christmas Day, Mom had prepared a delicious dinner: baby back ribs, coleslaw, potato salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and baked beans.  I'd brought rolls and cranberry salad.  After dinner we settled down in the living room for a restful afternoon.  All in all, a wonderful holiday!

That night, just before midnight, my smoke detector went off.  When I hurried to it to find out what was going on, I realized it wasn't the smoke detector,  but the carbon monoxide detector (it was a combo unit).  I pulled the battery out of it, but it was hard-wired as well.  I couldn't figure out how to make it quit screeching except to push the test button each time it went off, so I Googled it.  The instruction manual online was no help at all.  I called the number of the apartment office, but received a recording.  I figured the office would be closed on the 26th for the holiday; with no other ideas, I called the fire department (not 911, but their main number).  I explained that I didn't have an emergency, but that I needed some guidance on how to shut off what was an apparently defective carbon monoxide monitor.  I further explained that I have no gas appliances, and my apartment is all-electric.  The nice gentleman who took my call said that he would talk with his chief, and that someone would call me back very shortly.

Not long after that, I heard a fire truck come into the parking lot.  OH, MAN!!  Thankfully, they didn't have the siren on, but it still embarrassed me that I'd caused so much commotion over a carbon monoxide monitor!!  They were very nice, though, and insisted on using an air quality monitor to be sure there wasn't a problem in the apartment.  As I'd suspected, the monitor was malfunctioning.  They reset it and put it back in the ceiling.  I asked them to show me how to disconnect it in case it went off again.  After they left, it took awhile for me to get back to sleep.  I must have dozed off around 2:00 am; the monitor went off again at 2:45!!  A few brief seconds later, I'd disconnected it, pulled out its backup battery, and dumped it unceremoniously onto the kitchen table.

I'd brought work home from the office to work with on Monday and Tuesday.  I was tired Monday from the unexpected excitement the night before, but managed to make good progress on my office work.  I rested well Monday night, and got even more work done on Tuesday (yesterday).

When I talked with Kris on Christmas Eve she told me that my gift from them was on its way, but might not arrive until the 27th.  Sure enough, UPS delivered it yesterday afternoon: a Keurig coffeemaker!!  I'd been promising myself one for some time and was truly thrilled to receive it!  Setup was quick and easy, and it works like a dream.

Today I went to lunch with Mom and Dad at their favorite local Italian restaurant.  The food was very delicious, and we had a good time.  When I left there, I went to Sam's Club and Wal-Mart to pick up a few items I needed and get the oil changed in the car.

And so, I'm now back at home, still full of calzone but happy to have my shopping out of the way.  Tomorrow Mom has her second cataract surgery, so we'll all be glad when that's over and done.  Her first one went beautifully, so I hope this one goes as well.

So now I think I'll go make myself a hot cocoa in the Keurig and chill out with knitting while watching "Julie and Julia" on TV.  It's probably going to be an early night, which suits me fine.  :-)

Have a great week, friends!

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