Saturday, November 28 2020

leftovers, the boys tree, and green slizzard



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Dear Journal,

Good evening, everyone. Happy Saturday. A dark day in the Thanksgiving holiday weekend timeline, as I think today marks the day we've officially gotten sick of leftovers.

They had a good run in our house. The first two plates of stuffing, turkey, and mashed potatoes, along with the break from cooking was a nice feature of Thursday's mega meal. But after putting all the ingredients on a sandwich with swiss cheese, then later frying those same sandwiches in more cheese like some kind of mutant Thanksgiving lover's grilled cheese sandwich, our family has officially reached our gluttony limit. I even turned away a slice of Marissa's homemade blueberry pie a few minutes ago, so you know it's the real deal. Tonight for dinner, we got takeout from the Great Dane. I'm normally not a big fan of their food, but tonight it seemed appealing on the grounds that it wasn't soaked in butter and turkey juices.

Sip. How far have you gotten through your Thanksgiving leftovers? Have you just been heating up plates of the full Thanksgiving meal, or have you tried any soups, sandwiches, or maybe even a Thanksgiving Lover's pizza? And more importantly, how was your Saturday?

Today was an even lazier day than yesterday. Sometime in the afternoon after waking up from my nap, I summoned the will power to get out of bed, put on some real clothes, and find something to do with Rodney for fear that I would have nothing to write about. Rodney and I found the perfect task - decorating the "boys' tree".

The "boy's tree" was something Marissa and I invented this weekend. While decorating the Christmas tree in our living room, she was anguishing aloud about whether or not to let Rodney lend a hand. Marissa's proud of the tree. She puts a lot of love and care in how lights and ornaments are arranged.

"I feel bad, because I know Rodney would love to help, but..." said Marissa.

"What if you set up another tree for him to decorate," I said. "When I was growing up, my mom had the nice tree on the main floor in the window, and the kids tree was in the basement. That's the one that had all the goofy kids' ornaments."

"Could we set up a little one over here," said Marissa waving at the corner of the playroom.

"Perfect," I nodded.

Rodney and I got to work decorating the boys' tree this afternoon. We didn't have any silly ornaments on hand, so we just had to make due with the fancy Christmas tree rejects. We had our pick of shimmering ornaments missing their hooks, golden pine trees that were shedding their glitter, and all the leftover sparkly pine cones that didn't fit on the big tree.

2020 11 28 boys tree

Rodney christens the casual boys' tree with a very cool thumbs up.

Marissa had some leftover lights from decorating the outside of the house. She decided to put them up in Rodney's room as at treat. After stringing the lights along the top edge of his ceiling and carefully tucking the excess cord behind his door, we called Rodney into his room for the big reveal. Rodney was ecstatic, taking hold of the little wireless remote like it was a precious relic.

We would later learn that due to a small electrical oversight, this wireless remote was on the same channel that controlled our Christmas tree. As Rodney played with his lights during quiet time, our elegant shimmering Christmas tree blinked wildly in the living room.

Getting Rodney out of his room from quiet time, I noticed that one of the strands of lights in the corner of his room slumped a bit. I stood on his little blue chair to investigate.

"What happened here, dude?" I asked.

"I think it was a ghost," said Rodney, launching into his own conspiracy theory. "A ghost was in my room, and he didn't like the Christmas lights. So he made them fall."

2020 11 28 a ghost

How will we ever recover from this?

Tonight before bedtime we watched the original Grinch movie. Thanks to all the relentlessly positive Nick Jr. programming in our house, Rodney has come to think that all movies make him sad. Not wanting him to miss out on all the good Christmas movies we could be watching, we set out to gently cure him of this assumption. Tonight we watched the original Grinch movie. Rodney stared thoughtfully at the TV while the Grinch crept around Who houses, stealing decorations off the wall and presents from under the tree.

"This makes me kind of sad," said Rodney.

"It's OK dude," said Marissa. "Movies have a sad part, and they have a happy part. Don't worry - the happy part was coming."

Rodney hung in there until the Grinch's heart grew three sizes bigger and he rushed down the hill on his sleigh to deliver all the gifts he'd stolen. Rodney let out a satisfied sigh.

"Awww," he said. "That's so nice."

Putting him to bed tonight, Marissa tells me that he was still reeling from the movie. "The little girl woke up!" recounted Rodney. "And she said Hey green slizzard - why are you taking our presents away."

"Green slizzard?" I said confused.

"He thought the Grinch was the green goblin, or the lizard from Spider-Man," explained Marissa. "He can barely keep them straight as it is."

In between decorating the house, Marissa and I also started on expanding the upstairs desk in our bedroom. As Marissa began to cut, sand, and rearrange, I predictably became very uneasy.

"You seem kind of irritated," said Marissa. "You knew we were doing this, right?"

"Yeah," I said, rubbing the back of my neck. "And I thought I would be cool about it. It's just a little overwhelming, I'll get over it."

Do you have any physical spaces in your life that seem to directly affect your sense of balance? For me, my bedroom desk is one of those places. And as the new wider stained wood desk was drilled into place, I felt the monkey fist in my back relax. Suddenly I was in the mood to make some changes to my familiar work area.

"What do you think about this?" I said, holding my monitor up vertically. "I've been thinking about going back to being one of those vertical monitor people."

"I think it would look really cool," said Marissa, smiling.

2020 11 28 before

The 'before' shot. Soon to come, the 'after'.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Saturday, everyone.