Yes, I'm still alive. Thank you guys for all the well-wishes. I think the cold is finally whipped. Yay! For a year-end wrap-up, here we go (in no particular order):
- Christmas was wonderful. The kids all made it home. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law came. My parents didn't make it. Dad fell on the ice on Christmas Eve at some friends' house and got banged up and wasn't up to coming. I sent dinner and gifts home to them with my eldest son (who lives in the same town). My children made me sit and tell them how to cook Christmas dinner. Can you believe that? It felt… weird. I'm not used to being the "director", I'm used to "driving"! All in all, it was a great day, head cold and aching limbs be damned.
- Something is going on with my internet at home. I'm so frustrated I could kick the cat. (Just kidding, kitties.) We live in the country, as I've mentioned, and we're in a wooded area that is kind of in a hollow as well. The only options we have for internet service are a.) dial-up and b.) satellite. I had one satellite service that was so-so and switched companies this summer to one that was to be faster for the same price. I've been grossly disappointed. For one thing, it seemed not faster – but the same – as the old one, for about two months. Now? It's slower than dial-up! I swear it is horrible. Plus, it costs like hell. I'm not a happy camper. I've got a year-old computer hooked to it which is only using about 1/8th of the hard drive space. I've run virus scans, spybot scans, defrag programs, etc. on the thing to make sure it is working optimally. I called the guy who installed it on Friday to see what he said. I mentioned maybe it had been blown a bit off signal… he assured me it wouldn't work at all had that happened. I find that difficult to believe when the same thing will happen to the television satellite. Hmmm… Then he tried to tell me it was the computer until I explained I'd done all that service to it and still no better. I also disconnected any routers and networking stuff I'd had going (I'm supposed to be able to network up to 3 computers on it and I'd only been trying to network one – my laptop). Now I'm waiting for the service guy to figure out what is going on. This, of course, makes my blog-reading and writing and my gaming (oh, how I miss my WoW!!) non-existant except when I'm at work… which, we all know, is where I'm to be w-o-r-k-i-n-g. Yeah. What a quandry. Work or surf? *sigh* At any rate, this is one main reason why I've not been by to catch up with you all. Doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of you! Honest!
- Christmas cards. They may be known as Valentines, but you're still getting them.
- Dan Fogelburg died. Yeah. I didn't write about it when it happened, a few short weeks ago. He was only 56 and died of prostrate cancer, which he'd been diagnosed with back in 2004. I loved his music and Hubs and I had gone to two of his concerts years ago. One was very memorable as it was on Halloween and the whole band dressed up in costumes. Dan himself was a swash-buckling pirate-type with full-face mask. As the evening went on people begged him to remove the mask. In a big production he finally removed it – only to have a half-mask underneath! The crowd went crazy. Too funny! The music was wonderful and we're lucky to have such a large body of work to remember him by.
- My son got married! In July. To a beautiful, sweet, and special girl. We love her like our own and are so happy for them. Only good things in their future.
- After several months of increasing pain, I was finally diagnosed with a herniated disc in my neck. In about a week from now we should know what, if anything, is going to be done about it. Keep your fingers crossed it all gets resolved. In other related news – I found out I have a weird tolerance for 'potent' drugs like Vicodin and Oxycotin. Who knew?
- The weather has been weird. We get ice, we get snow, we get fog, frost, more snow, more ice, wind… oh, what the hell am I saying? It's WINTER in Iowa!
- Is it just me, or with each political phone call, knock on the door (even in the country), and ad it makes me hate that particular candidate more. Honestly. It is working against them. The first caucus is on Thursday and the 'big city' is going crazy getting ready for it. You think you've heard about all this stuff, you should live in MY state… we not only hear about it, but we hear about what is being done to get ready for it. I'm sick of it. Really, really, really sick of it. Is it going to be almost another year before we actually vote someone into office? Geez…
Okay, I'll shut up now. Let me just end by wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Stay warm and safe and give someone you love a hug for me!