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I don't think this was the first year we didn't watch any holiday movies, but it's definitely the first year where I threw away all the ones we have...they were on VHS tapes and we don't even have a player anymore. Goodbye Rudolph! Goodbye Fred Astaire in Santa Claus is Coming to Town! Goodbye Grinch! Goodbye Ralphie! Goodbye (and good riddance) Little Drummer Boy! I recycled all the cases and Anders will take the videotapes themselves to the dump the next time he goes and make sure they get put in the right place.

It made me a bit sad because I loved watching Rudolph and the Grinch and the old Rankin/Bass stop-motion masterpieces each year, that were such a big part of my childhood holiday memories. I guess I'll have to buy them from Apple TV or stream them next year, since I don't want to buy DVDs either.

This weekend was spent taking Christmas down. Only the advent lights and stars are still up in the windows, bringing a bit of light into an otherwise icy, dark, Swedish winter. Despite the fact that we've passed the solstice, it will be dark here for a long time, so even though the rest of the holiday bling has been packed up, the lights feel more like a necessity than an extravagance. The tree was so dry and droopy-stiff that even Anders didn't make a fuss about keeping everything out until Tjugonde Knut, which is far too long in my opinion, anyway! His gingerbread house is still out, though...not sure when I'll throw that away. It's so cute!

Anders has started a winter project, making a wooden kayak from scratch. He got the plans for it from me for Christmas LAST year but is only now getting around to starting it. It takes up the entire garage and that's just the frame/base to build the kayak around. If you are interested, you can follow along with his progress on Instagram: @anders_62

Martin made it back to Detroit in one piece on Thursday. He got to Newark without problems, but was unable to get a flight rebooked until 8:30 am Sunday. So, we got in touch with my sister, who lives a few hours away, and he managed to get a train to Hartford, Connecticut, where she and her husband had driven through the snow chaos to pick him up. He stayed with them for 2 nights, and managed to get moved up to a flight on Saturday afternoon. He stayed with friends Saturday and moved back into the dorm yesterday. Classes start today, so he made it just in time!

Work was insane today. There is SO MUCH OF IT. I worked until well after 5 and didn't even feel like I made a dent. And as ozswede so cheerily informed me, there are NO public holidays until EASTER. That's TWELVE weeks. I don't know if I can manage that. Sheesh. Last year I took every Friday in March off...maybe I'll have to do that again. Although, I DO plan on taking off time in the beginning of March, to see my best and oldest friend who is coming over to this side of the world. I haven't seen her since 2009 in The Netherlands, when we met up (with a couple of other old junior high friends from our gang) at our old school. She lives in Oregon, which isn't easy for me to get to, even when I am in the States. I can't even remember how long before that we last saw each other.

Anyway, she and her husband and a friend are coming to London to see Hamilton, visit family, (her husband is English) and then they are coming to Amsterdam for a few days, where I will meet them before bringing them back to Sweden for a bit. I CAN'T WAIT!! When it goes 10 years or more between our get-togethers, we have to make the most of every chance. We used to write stories about our future selves, when we were "old", in which we all lived together in a big house and drove our caretakers crazy with our shenanigans. I doubt that will ever become reality, so we'll have to party it up for the limited time we do get to have together this year. Who knows when we'll see each other again? After all, we're like the living equivalent of VHS tapes. I suspect if our children thought of it that way, they'd probably be taking us apart for recycling right now.
mood: tired
music: Owl City—Fireflies


I tend to just watch movies from streaming sites as I need to, though I guess Anders might consider that a tad dodgy. But hey, I come from the land of convicts :-)

We put our tree up on the 23rd, so we are happy to leave it until Tjugonde Knut. It brightens up the room in these dark days. It's going to be a grey week, so that extra mys factor is important. Shall I annoy galestorm and use the hygge word?

Twelve long weeks... well, if they go as fast as the weeks between Halloween and Christmas, Easter will be here before you know it.

How lovely to be able to see an old friend. It's great to have those kind of friends where you can just pick up where you left off, even if it's a long time in between actual visits. I hope she enjoys her time in Sweden with you.

I can't fathom putting up the tree so late. Isn't the whole point to anticipate Christmas? :D

I don't know about the 12 weeks. The last 2 days of work have just about killed me, and it's only Tuesday evening! GAH!!!

I think he feels the advent lights and stars plus the straw ornaments and tomte figures cover the "anticipation" stage and the tree is something to herald the start of the "twenty days of Christmas" in Sweden. So the tree is up for around three weeks, which is possibly much the same as yours, just different dates.

Sorry to hear about the nightmare start to the working year. I hope the pace tapers off soon :(

From Megsie

My tree is still up, but I keep taking things down as I see them. Right now they are just piled up on the dining room table, waiting to be packed away.

Classes began for me today as well, it was a wonderful day! Great students who were inquisitive and willing to talk in class...and challenge the podcast! I hope this is an indication of a great semester!

I still have MANY VHS tapes. We still have a VCR! In fact, we just bought our very first TV this weekend. We have been living off hand-me-downs since we were married. The one in our family room just decided to not show any definition anymore, so all the white people disappeared when the background was light/white. Jeff was trying to watch hockey. It was hilarious. We bought a "smart" TV. I am not sure if we are smart enough to use it! I haven't hooked up the cable yet, so we can't watch actual TV yet. It is a process!

I hope work is more manageable for you tomorrow! :)

Re: From Megsie

I pile everything on the dining room table, too, before I put it all away. The tree ornaments completely cover it, and so do the house decorations. Six moving boxes full and that's not even including the advent lights and stars. Too much? :D

Our VCR broke last year and I got rid of (nearly) all the tapes we had. We decided it wasn't worth buying another's not like we watched them much anyway.

Work was just as bad today. I'm dreading the rest of this week.


Why do you have to take VHS tapes to the dump to recycle them, and why is there a special place just for VHS tapes at the dump? Or did I just read that wrong? :-)


Well, the dump has a sorting center and trained personnel to help you put things in the right place...and we weren't sure about the tapes since they are both plastic and film (I didn't bust them open).


Ah ok, makes sense. Sounds like you take things to the dump the way we would take things to a specialty recycling center here in the States. Or for electronics, I just take them to Best Buy and they presumably sell them to some Chinese company that puts them on a literal slow boat to China for some poor factory kids to disassemble and sell back to us in some other device. :-)


It IS basically a specialty recycling center...I think everything pretty much gets sorted. If you want to just dump your stuff without sorting it yourself, you have to pay.


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PBBBBB stupid computer


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