imbecamiel: (BookStack)
Somewhat belated merry Christmas all around! I've been enjoying seeing all your Christmas posts, even if I haven't been doing a ton of replying.

Christmas was a bit low-key around here, due to Mom having the flu (which then promptly hit me yesterday... kinda cannot brain now). Really not fair when you get both the flu shot and the flu itself, but I had heard they did a particularly bad job this year of predicting which strains to protect against.

It was mostly good, though. Lots of hanging around together, watching Netfix, 'n such. And I got some great presents! Lots of books (not all of which have arrived yet), music, and tea-themed stuff. Turns out, Earl Grey Tea lip balm is amaaaaaazing. I also got a "Sherlock's Study" scented candle, which is hilarious and awesome.

Since Eric's got some post-Christmas time during his winter break, Dad took some time off work. So... Jan. 1st - if we're not all hacking up a lung at that point XP - we're planning on draving south to New Orleans for about a week. Eric and Dad are hoping it'll be warm enough for them to bike a lot (winters in Minnesota are loooong, and as into it as they've been this year they're feeling deprived now), while Nef, Mom, and I... probably hang out at coffee shops and find interesting food to eat, mostly. I've never been there before, so it should be fun. ^^


Dec. 9th, 2013 09:31 pm
imbecamiel: (TaeKwonDodo)
I am now officially a black belt. And I am so happy. :D The final exam came at... a rather bad time, and the last couple of weeks have been crazy stressful and packed with completing last-minute requirements that I found out about belatedly, so I'm pretty much collapsing now with relief at having completed it successfully.

At this point I'm hoping to start training for my second degree black belt in January. But first... some time off to properly focus on family and the holidays.

One advantage - after this, all the Christmas craziness seems like a really nice break! *bg* 
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
Or: A cautionary Christmas tale for editors and graphic designers alike. Because I am in a silly mood, and happy to have a functioning computer again. XD

Once upon a time in the frozen north, there was a chain of grocery stores. One day, as the weather grew yet colder than usual and the consciousness that Christmastime was fast approaching began to dawn in the hearts of people everywhere, certain mysterious and shadowy Powers That Be within the company decided that it would be a Good Thing to order some festive holiday-themed paper grocery bags for all of their many stores. 

And so down from on high came the order to Make It So. And behold, it was Very Good... in theory. 

Those orders trickled down to some equally mysterious person or persons, much lower in authority and powers of delegation, but no less capable of creative thought and Good Ideas. And so the person upon whom the task fell went out in quest of the perfect design for Holiday Paper Grocery Bags. It was decided that this design ought to be simple, and cheerful, with a certain flavor of old-fashioned classic elegance. 

And so in the fullness of time, behold, a design was brought forth, most likely derived primarily from selections of Free Clip Art. Nonetheless, it was sufficiently pleasing to the eye and appropriate to the season, and all who beheld it declared that it was Just Right and would do fine for this year. And besides, they had to hurry up and get it to the printer, if the bags were going to be delivered to all the stores in time. 

Sadly, upon all who beheld that design prior to printing, a certain selective blindness fell. For, while the design was indeed attractive as a whole, in point of fact it contained a number of Errors.

Who can say exactly how it came to pass? Perhaps those tasked with the undertaking were unfamiliar with the conventions of Filler Text. Perhaps they knew no Latin, and so assumed the words to be a festive message of holiday cheer. Perhaps they were simply in a hurry, and decided that It Looks Good Anyway, And It's Not Like Anyone Will Notice. The details are now lost to the mists of time. All we know for sure is that, when those bags made their grand debut in the stores to which they were sent, they were liberally decorated with images such as these:

Do You See What I See? )


Dec. 12th, 2008 08:18 pm
imbecamiel: (Treljerin and Jelvari)
Man. I am so totally wiped out. Also, kind of deliriously happy. Hehe.

Ashley (and Lexie!) wound up spending most of the day here, baking Christmas cookies and generally hanging out. And then when Evan came to pick them up, they all ended up staying to dinner, so Dad was able to spend some time with them too. It was so wonderful. Very exhausting, but so very fun. :D

I have no idea how Lexie manages to just keep getting more beautiful. And I can't believe she's nearly six months old already - ! She is... the most wonderful, perfect, adorable... Ehem. *sheepish smile* Yes, I know, y'all have heard the song and dance a dozen times before. But seriously. *happy sigh* 'M afraid you may have to suffer through another picture post sometime soon, here. ;)

I think I'm gonna fall asleep here now. Or maybe, I dunno... write a couple thousand words on one of my stories. Or something.


imbecamiel: (Dead Punctuation)
Well, we got our Christmas tree today, which is much fun. And then the tree stand broke when the guys were trying to put it up, which is not so fun. They were trying to fix it, but we finally had to get a new one - it was that or have our tree standing undecorated in a beat-up five gallon bucket in the family room when our family comes over tomorrow :P But anyway, we got quite a bit of Christmas baking and other decorating done today regardless.

And since our van is now officially totaled, and insurance is going to quit paying for a rental in less than a week, we need to buy a new car within the next few days. Which was... not exactly planned for this year, much less the middle of December. And makes me very sad, because even though I maybe should be excited about getting a new van... our other one may have been getting old, but I liked it. And even though they're nice, I haven't really liked the new ones we've rented for trips or most of the ones we've looked at recently. But ah well, God's provided the means to get a new one, even on such short notice, and even though it was an "accident" nothing happens without His planning, so I'm sure He's got something good for us. So, all that means that we spent a lot of the afternoon/evening looking at cars today, but with no real decisions made yet... We shall see.

And randomly, a funny link my mom got sent this morning. Hilarious video. Anyone who's been homeschooled will definitely get a kick out of it. *g*

Seems I'm quite random today. But happily random. :) And now off to write some more comments on certain stories. Seems t'was a bit optimistic to hope to get something sizable done on it today, but ah well - I'm working on it, at any rate. And very, very happy to be back to it - I've been missing it very much. :)
imbecamiel: (BookStack)
It seems that of late December is destined to be the month of craziness for my family.

Two years ago we had our Christmas tree fall over - twice - breaking a number of our glass ornaments. Then we found out our new house wasn't as well sealed as we'd thought and with the cold mice had come inside. Then Dad's truck slipped in the snow on an incline, rolled over on its side, and slid into the creek. And then our internet kept going out for days at a time. And then on Christmas morning, our sump pump broke, flooding our basement - where the bedroom Nef and I share just happens to be located.

Last year, Mom caught pneumonia, so Nef and I wound up handling a lot of Christmas preparations on our own. We've been doing more and more as we've gotten older, of course, but she was so wiped out we had to pretty much take care of everything, in addition to keeping the housework up and helping take care of Mom.

This last week, we've already had lots of overall stressful craziness going on. And every time we try to get together with our niece for Christmas baking something comes up and it has to be canceled. And then yesterday we were in a car accident. Aside from general soreness everyone's alright, but it looks like the van may be totaled, and at the very least is going to be in the repair shop for some time.

BUT God is good, regardless.

Two years ago: when Dad's truck rolled over, he wasn't hurt and damage was minimal; when our basement flooded, it was with clean water, not sewage, and we caught it before any major damage was done (Nef and I were still sleeping on the floor then, but our mattresses weren't wet, and there were boxes of books and such on the floor right in the water - but only the cardboard was wet, it hadn't soaked through enough to get anything inside them wet).

Last year: we actually did very well, kept things going, and Mom got better soon enough to at least enjoy the celebrations with us.

And this year: the craziness seems to be much easing off, and as I said, everyone's alright, and the accident was clearly the other woman's fault, so her insurance has to pay for everything, including a rental car for us in the meantime, and a new vehicle of equal value should we need to replace the van entirely.

So, all that to say - I'm very sorry for pretty much disappearing off the face of the earth for the last week here, and I hope to be back posting and responding to things (including your stories, Niro and Polly!)  very soon. My absence hasn't been for lack of interest or desire to respond :)


imbecamiel: (Default)

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