Monday, January 5, 2009

The Aftermath of the Holidays

The light posting, while shameful, has been mostly due to the hectic pace of the holidays. I'll try to get to political rantings later in the post.

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. We're over a thousand miles from family, so we got invited to the house of one of Pooky's coworkers, along with about half his shop. We participated in Operation Homecooking, taking along two Army students from the Defense Language Institute from Puerto Rico that weren't doing so well on their English tests and stuffing them full of food and Wii games. Seeing the tired joy on their faces as they made their way out to the car made it all worth it.

The day after Thanksgiving, Brandon and I exchanged gifts, since we were leaving on December 17 for home and coming back on our anniversary. My husband loves extending Christmas as long as possible, so we've had the decorations up for at least two months now. After holding him off from opening our stockings all week, I found out he'd stuffed mine with an Iowa coin bear, a stuffed kitten, a small magnetic penguin (long story), and the Princess Bride on DVD. Turns out he'd wanted to watch the DVD all week, hence the bugging. Men are soooo patient..... I gave him a whole variety of chocolate things and some cocoa mix. The mix was for his gift of a travel mug with the caffeine molecule imprinted on it, along with three geeky shirts (thank you,!). He got me one gift: a white gold amethyst necklace, to go along with the already-given bracelet and wedding ring. Naturally, this caused many happy noises. We spent the rest of the day finishing up LOTR, as is our tradition.

We went back to the Land of Below Zero Temperatures and Five-Foot Snowdrifts for Christmas, surviving two snow storms and record windchills. We got pretty much everything we wanted for Christmas, along with some great anniversary gifts. I have to say, Christmas Songs by Jars of Clay is wonderful. I can't stop listening to it, which means, unfortunately, Redemption Songs by them and Revelation by Third Day aren't getting listened to. I was worried "Little Drummer Boy" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" wouldn't be as good as the originals, but they're almost better, if that's possible.

We spent our anniversary stuck in the Dallas airport for four hours while I battled with the nasty bug Pooky's nephew gave me. Our plans for going to the Riverwalk once we got home were postponed a day, and, naturally, when I started feeling better, Pooky got it even worse than I did. He wound up missing a day of work, but not much gets done between Christmas and New Year's at the shop, so he didn't miss too much.

He was feeling well enough to get on the road for 10 hours on New Year's Day to go and retrieve the car his uncle had towed down to Texas for us. I found out how boring the desert really can be when you don't have someone to talk to and you can't get much on the radio. Oh, and someone forgot to check the battery of the mp3 player before handing it off to me, so it got even more dull. I think it would have been more "scenic" had I not had to drive and it wasn't the dead of winter.

So that's our holidays-a lot of traveling, but lots of gifts and family time. It was good seeing all eight nephews and the expectant mothers (two more little ones coming within the month). Oh, and any Iowan can positively tell you that global warming is something we wish would happen.

I'm not terribly hopeful after this past election. My husband is going to give Obama a fair shake for the first few months, and I'm trying, but it's very difficult after all the positions he's taken and his Cabinet choices. I agree with Pooky that militarily, Obama won't do too much damage, but I worry about the domestic side of things. The Freedom of Choice Act isn't just a horrible idea because it lifts resctrictions on abortions, but it also takes away every state's right to legislate in that area. It's a slippery slope on more than one level, and I don't have the confidence that Obama will stand up for Federalism, one of our key founding principles. Card Check is also something that worries me. Unions are no longer necessary in America, and this is just another way of keeping them alive.

Speaking of bloated unions, bailout-mania disgusts me. The stock market is risky, and sub-prime loans are even more so. Deal with it, people. Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

I said that Obama's Cabinet choices worry me, and I'm being proven right even before he takes office. Richardson's out, Browner's got a lot of baggage, Holder's confirmation hearings will be embarassing should Marc Rich come up, Rahm Emanuel still has a cloud hanging over his head from his communications with Blagojevich, and don't forget that Obama's saddled himself with Her Majesty of Whitewater fame. I'm wondering who in the world would hire his vetting team after this fiasco. Of course, the Left rewards incompetence, so they're set for life.

Have a good one!

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