Collar me…

The Christian Century just sent me my professional clergy discount renewal form. I kinda wish I didn’t have a post office box for that one. Would have been a real hoot to see my roommate’s face when he discovered I’m a closeted professional clergy.

I got my glasses today. It made a huge difference driving home in the early twilight, rain drabbing everything into a single shade of gray. But I could cut the shapes out of that drab fabric, for a change.

I’ve put the new face into my blogger picture. It’s a nice change, along with the new hair color–I lowlighted the red with a chocolate brown. Came out nice.

DFH is heading out to his parents’ tomorrow; I’m staying home to finish a cleaning project I started earlier this week. Then I’m going to church on Sunday before heading out to join him out west.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Welcome back into the light.


Something I got from my mom–well timed, too…

> If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
> strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do
> not show love to my family,
> I’m just another decorator.
> If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of
> Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and
> arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
> but do not show love to my family,
> I’m just another cook.
> If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing
> home and give all that I have to charity, but do not
> show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
> If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and
> crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday
> parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not
> focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
> Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
> Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
> Love is kind, though harried and tired.
> Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated
> Christmas china and table linens.
> Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way,
> but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
> Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give
> in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
> Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all
> things, endures all things.
> Love never fails.
> Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost,
> golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
> Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!

x-posted from various places

I have the beginnings of a head cold. Not fun. Although I slept in today and am not feeling too horrible tonight.

Made it out to see two places today, the third went under contract yesterday so I wasn’t able to see it. but one of the places was the townhouse. I adore it, and
even DFH was impressed. It’s about the same size as the apartment I had in Manassas–and that was plenty spacious.

it’s nice and airy, lots of light. the kitchen is kinda tight, but there’s plenty of room to make extra counter space in the dining room.

we’re going to find out if the owner is amenable to a delayed settlement agreement that would allow us to build up more of a downpayment, since he has a tenant there now. Getting the downpayment and closing costs is really our toughest animal, so the delayed settlement thingie would be nice. And my preapproval is a little short of the asking price (yes, this is a 2 BR, smallish townhouse for that much, but that’s a really good deal for the 15th best school district in the nation and close to a town-center that’s one of the hottest bedroom communities of D.C., both in terms of federal agencies and Metro-accessibility). I feel insane buying this, but when I look at the purchase price compared to our combined salary, it really doesn’t seem THAT insane.

One problem is the tenant that’s there seems crazy. I can see how she would scare people off. In fact, she drove us out, by leaving the broiler on high while she stepped out. The whole place was smoking up. But she looks almost like a squatter, like all we have to do is plop down the contract and she’ll skedaddle. Just hope she doesn’t burn the place down before we can buy the place.

I dunno. We’ll see, since it’s just out of our price range presently, but we haven’t even started looking at other financing options that we are open to (freaky financial advisor notwithstanding). It’s downright lovely.

I liked the kitchen in the other place better, but it was really small and too close to Rockville Pike. I don’t mind having a 12-lane highway in my backyard–you get used to that noise, like the ocean, and it’s a five minute drive to get onto that highway. I do mind having a highly congested, shopping-district-hell pike in my backyard.

Also, a couple of pictures for you:

DFH and me, today:

The aran sweater I’m working on:

The GTNG Getting-To-Know-You Meme, holiday edition

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
For me, Santa set them under the tree. For my kid, Santa’s been a little inconsistent.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

4. Do you hang mistletoe on the house?
No, but if I actually succeed in owning my own place I will consider it.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I haven’t had them in years, really, mostly enjoying those at my aunt’s place. I just am so transient that it hasn’t been worth it to put them up and then move them every time I move. And when I was in my own place in Philly, the place was just too small for them. Again, if I get my own place, it will be a must-do, and generally go up/come down gradually between Thanksgiving and Epiphany.

My mom was always a third-week tree person, insisting it kept them fresher through the 12 days of Christmas. Makes sense to me.

6. What is your favorite holiday meal (excluding dessert)?
I love side dishes! Stuffing, veggies, potatoes (sweet or reg), salad, mac and cheese, whatever. Turkey is *ok*, and so is ham. But I love the sides. (I love the fact that Boston Market offers a 3-side meal.) This year, I’m contributing a main-dish side to the menu–perfect for any wayward vegetarians. When I figure out what I want to make, I’ll post it, too.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
We had Christmas at my Grandmother’s place, a huge brick home in the Walnut Hill area of Petersburg, Va. They had two third-floor bedrooms with closets full of secrets, and one night, my brother and I were drifting off to sleep, and my brother said something about hearing sleigh bells and was that Santa?

I miss that old house. I had a chance to buy it for $92,000 in 1991, but I was young and stupid. I may try to buy it back into the family at some point; last time it was on the market it was about $160K, which is still a steal.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What, that he exists in our hearts and hopes throughout our lives? That’s always been the truth!

Although I had some interesting crises of faith when I ran across the tooth fairy when I was about 8 or so. I’ve never gotten over her lack of wings.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We always got to open a gift on Christmas Eve. Even though nominally we were allowed to pick the gift, generally we’d be steered toward something that would keep us entertained/occupied during Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
When I had one, with my significant other of whatever time period it was.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I like watching it. I hate going anywhere in it, including down the front steps, as I’m apt to fall down.

12. Can you ice skate?
Nope. See #11.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I got a Pentax K1000 one year that I still own, but seldom use since I got the digital.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with family and friends.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Most varieties of pie, esp. pumpkin, apple, and lemon chess, which my grandmother made year-round.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Sigh. I don’t have any. I want to. Desperately. I am hoping that the second half of my life will yield more stability, so that I can renew my acquaintance with holiday tradition. I could write a book about family dysfunctions and holiday traditions, though–not so pleasant.

17. What tops your tree?
I’ve always been a star kinda gal but now that I’m more crafty I think I’m going to do a tree all gussed up in crafty ornaments next year.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Sharing. I have limited means to give with but I always enjoy it when I find the perfect gift and it brings a smile to someone’s face. But I find gift-giving, on the whole, very stressful. Receiving gifts is often similarly awkward–it’s seldom that someone gives me something I truly want or need. There was one year, however, that my aunt gave me a $50 Target gift card in the month after a particularly disastrous breakup left me and the DS without most of our kitchen stuff. That was truly a spirit-infused gift!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
O Holy Night ranks way up there. Most Christmas music as packaged for the masses makes me want to yack.

20. Candy Canes!
Eh. I love peppermint but I’ve had some really bad ones over the years. I’m just as happy with Starlight mints.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story. You’ll put your eye out! And the original Miracle on 34th St. still is one of my favorites.

22. What would you most like to find under your tree this year?
Closing costs on the new place, quite honestly.

23. Favorite Holiday memory as an adult?
Every Christmas that I’ve spent at my aunt’s. I love that woman, and she does a great job with Christmas in general.