Friday, January 09, 2015

The Heat Never Bothered Me Anyway

1. We are up to our eyeballs in all things related to the move -- painting, packing, changing utilities, etcetera. Despite this, certain members of the family (read: the whole lot) continue to expect an uninterrupted flow of clean socks and rides to basketball games, laundered uniforms and balanced meals. Ainsley alone was the voice of reason the other day when she sweetly asked, "Is this going to be another snacky dinner?"

Yes, Sweetie. Snacky dinners are on the menu for the duration.

2. So Georgia is cold. As in windchill of 5 cold. We really don't do cold. The younger pair would wear shorts year round and never, never, never, ever, ever, ever don  footwear in the house. Unless it's part of a costume. Think: plastic high heels. Truly, I get cold just looking at them. I don two pairs of socks under my slippers and crank my automatic mattress pad to ward off the chill.

We have a low intensity Thermostat War waging here. Oh, how I remember my dear Dad going nearly postal when he'd come home and find the heat set on 83. Sorry, Dad. I guess this would be a fine time to admit it was me. Well, Dave likes the house chilly and a certain unidentified adolescent boy whose name does not, for the record, appear on any utility invoice that passes through our hands, tends to crank it up. As he recently quipped: The heat never bothered me anyway.

3. Do you own an automatic mattress pad? Back in the day, these were called electric blankets. Now they go on under the sheets and are automatic (and I guess it's supposed to be a secret that they still plug into an electrical socket). Anyway . . . Automatic mattress pad = best purchase ever. Mainly this is because we sprung for the queen-sized, dual control number. Yes, dual control. Dave can set his side on a nippy number 1 while I am toasty on six or seven. Truly a thing of beauty. And also one of the best gifts I've ever bought the unidentified adolescent. Teenagers, they like their comfort.

4. Sometimes I get major props from the kids, especially the younger boys, when they dwell on the fact that their mother once wore Army boots. I am seriously cool because I fired a Howitzer (once), because I threw a live hand grenade (once).

These bright moments aside, the kids have discovered that I never saw combat, that I never once put my hands on C-4 (plastic explosives for civilians), that I never was embroiled in a hostage crisis of any sort. I think they sometimes confuse the U.S. Army with a Swat Team.

I was deployed during wartime, but, sadly for them, I spent my five and a half months of active duty briefing pregnant soldiers on their maternity benefits and trying to convince very young enlisted folks to take advantage of the GI Bill. Oh, and I watched a lot of CNN. I think I remember ordering new reflective vests for my unit's physical fitness program.

"I was a personnel officer," I told Kolbe today. "I filled out a lot of forms."

"Really, Mom," he says, shaking his head sadly and shooting me a look that spoke of keen disappointment. "Really?"

5. So I was cleaning up our camera, trying to cobble together the few photos I shot of Christmas 2014, and I found this:

Let me zoom in:

I hope this wasn't on display when we were showing the house.  Please say it wasn't. And when the appraiser pops in next week, remind me to check all wall surfaces for stray underwear.

6. I also found this:

A terrible shot of a really neat evening we hope becomes a family tradition. Saint Lucia's Day. This is, I believe, a Swedish tradition. The oldest daughter greets the family with candles on her head and a tray of sweet rolls and hot chocolate in her hands.

So fun.

I have to project all my girly-girl expectations onto just one child, but, thankfully, Ainsley is only too happy to comply with my wishes.

7. So a new season of Downton is upon us. I don't think I'll be writing much about it because, hello!, moving! But also because I tend to just nitpick and besides that my friend Rachel will provide incise weekly commentary and discussion over at her corner of the Internet.

Here's my contribution to her deconstruction of Episode 1:

My theories:
1. Edith is totally Rosamond’s child.
2. Can’t believe Bates killed anyone.
3. Gregson will return. Would have to Google what was happening in Germany to keep him away so long. (Let me add: Fellowes pulls from the headlines quite a bit. Government scandals, Spanish Flu, election results. Nearly every plot twist has  a bit of foreshadowing -- someone reading a headline, an off handed comment in a conversation).
4. Teacher = 100% insufferable. You can disagree and not be quite that horrible.
5. Mary has a short memory when it comes to clandestine trysts. But I bet she takes Lord Gillingham up on his offer.
6. The Dowager’s trying awfully hard to get Mrs. Crawley and the good doctor together. I think it will work. And I hope it does.
7. How many more servants will have secretly done hard time? I really like Baxter, but this seems too much like the Bates’ mystery in season 1.
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear from anyone but Christine who's seen it all over in Scotland.


Christine Laennec said...

I will horrify you by saying I have missed the last two seasons of Downton Abbey! The few episodes I've seen struck me as a bit formulaic, so I didn't make a commitment. Perhaps I will catch up at some point. Glad to hear the Dowager is still going!

Kelly Dolin said...

Christine, I agree. It's totally formulaic. And it's still the only television show I routinely watch. Can't explain it. The unbelievable plot twists irk me, but the glimpse of another era still captivates.

Kris said...

Formulaic maybe. But awesome nonetheless. Because beautiful scenery, clothing, etc. Engaging characters and nothing "in-your-face" smutty and sleazy. Hope the move is going well!