squeeze days :)

Christmas is over and now we have a few ‘ordinary days’ before New Years.

In my native tongue, this type of days …. that falls in between two holidays … are called something that would translate to «squeeze days» [klämdagar]. Guess they get squeezed in between, in this case, Christmas and New Years.

People can save and accumulate vacation, so that they can take time off, but usually there are fewer work days in between — this year Christmas fell on a Sunday. In November, there used to be a «squeeze day» always, thanks to All Saints Day.

As most people there have five weeks of vacation each year, they usually save one week so that they can take a day or two off every now and then.

A couple of days before Christmas, I came across one of Google’s, so called, Easter Eggs: In the regular, Google search box, you typed in the words ‘let it snow’, [you can still do it] and little flakes started falling, slowly, all over your screen. If you just let it stay there, after a little while, you’d have a total white-out, with only the blue DEFROST button visible. If you clicked and dragged your mouse over it, it was like cleaning off the snow.

I’m a child at heart, so I enjoy those little things immensely, and told Gerry to do it too. Nothing happened! What they hadn’t told me was that it only worked in the Chrome- and Firefox browsers. Gerry still uses Internet Explorer.

Which browser do you use?

Christmas Day

Woke up way too early — was up at 7AM. It was really cold outside, and nothing was stirring. This is the only day of the year when Tim Horton’s Coffee shop is closed. Otherwise it’s open 24/7. Even if I wake up at three or four in the morning, there always a couple of cars moving somewhere. Not so this morning.

I ate too much and too late yesterday, felt slightly uncomfortable and that’s why I woke up.

Gerry’s son Kevin arrived yesterday evening and later we had a turkey dinner.

We didn’t go anywhere or do anything today. It felt like those Christmas Days of my youth when everything stood still like this. We looked at Kevin’s photos from a Caribbean cruise he went on recently, and he got to see all my pictures from my Swedish trip.

Tonight, as I was browsing back one year in my blog, I realized I’ve now had the BlackBerry for one year. Two more to go! I regret it deeply. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but the whole idea of having a smart phone at all. I have no use for it really — a regular cell phone would have done for emergency calls. I’ll have to live with that decision for two more years no — there’s no going back, but after all that time, lots will have happened in the world of electronics so we’ll see what it will be like then.

seven

Seven posts left, this one included, in the WP-challenge!  Then I’ll go on posting whenever I feel like it, which may be every day, several times a day or … every week. I like blogging, so I won’t give that up.

It’s Christmas Day. I was up at 7AM, and still McDuff and I are the only ones awake here. Gerry’s son is here, visiting from Quebec.

Even though I know that to many people this is the ‘main’ day, to me it still feels like after Christmas Eve it’s almost all over. We had a big turkey dinner last night … rather late, compared to when we usually eat, and I still feel kind of stuffed this morning! That was what woke me up, actually.

In the midst of all my cleaning yesterday, I realized I had to go to the grocery store after all … didn’t have enough coffee in the house! A nice little snowfall started … merely a flurry … as I took off, flakes landed on my nose and lashes as I walked to the car and it was beautiful. I could have taken a walk to the nearest grocery store, but I have a hang-up about coffee, so I had to go to the other one, where they have my brand. In the store it was unexpectedly calm and cool … everyone smiled and said Merry Christmas!

In one way, I would like to go back to bed for another snooze but I think it’s too late because I’ve had too much coffee now. We have no plans for this day, so I may have a rest in the afternoon. The lad has brought some play station and perhaps he’ll busy himself with that.

Hope you’re feeling good, and don’t over-eat! I think I did, and I’m paying for it today.

 

is there anything left that could be said about Christmas?

I suspect most has been said, both in the blogosphere and Facebook. In my stream, in Facebook, there are almost exclusively posts about what they’re cooking and how busy they are. I hope they aren’t too exhausted to enjoy all that food.

Today, in the local news, I heard that they had opened two centres for people who needed counselling during the holiday season. I think that’s a good thing. I can appreciate that people get depressed for a variety of reasons. Not only lonliness and nostalgia for lost loved ones. To toss a whole slough of people together, that normally don’t socialize at all with one another during the rest of the year, can sometimes put a strain on people. They might not even want to be together, but because of traditions and family expectations they have to …

Quite often — especially where I come from — there’s alcohol involved in the celebrations, and that can certainly make old grudges surface. I worked in a small clinic and learned more than I really wished for, about what was going on behind the polished façades.

I think of all the children that have rather learnt to fear Christmas, rather than longing for it … the ones in abusive homes … be it alcohol/drugs or other, unfathomable abuse. Children, who will never get an iPad or the latest smart phone for Christmas … what memories of Christmas do they carry with them later in life!? Children that only saw a Santa that was so drunk so he missed the chair when he tried to sit down … in the best of cases, and the ambulance in the worst!

Then we have all the people who waste all their money on expensive gifts that they really can’t afford, so that they hardly can pay the rent/power- and phone bill in January! Their kids have to have that iPad and latest smart/super phone, because  «all the other kids have one»! Must be getting very expensive to be a teenage parent these days!

Typing down all this, makes me even more aware of how unbelievably fortunate I’ve been throughout life! In my family, there wasn’t any booze or fights … Christmas was peaceful, Mum was the sole provider but she managed to scrape money together for gifts and we never lacked anything the rest of the year either. I’ve been alone for Christmas at times, but never lonely. There’s a big difference here.

Still, I sometimes have mixed emotions about Christmas. I dislike the commercialism about it. It also makes me sad that there are people who are so inconsiderate of their loved ones feelings about Christmas that they don’t do what’s expected of them. It’s such a short time, so how much would it cost to pay a visit, make a phone call to the ones who love you and be thankful that you have people who do love you.

we have snow!

Woke up a short while ago to a Winder Wonderland, and I better enjoy it while it’s there. Won’t last many hours as the temperature is +5C, but for now, Saint John’s Old North End looks really spiffy. I wish it would though … at least for the two, coming days.

Tomorrow is [obviously] Christmas Eve and it would have been cool (!) to have snow, while watching Donald Duck on the computer at 10AM [on the Atlantic Time Zone].

I’ve been cleaning and scrubbing but not at all the way I used to in younger days. This time, I decided that Christmas will come, regardless of if I’ve dragged out the whole linen cabinet and scrubbed the walls there. I’ve set up a few, little projects for myself each day, and most of them are completed. Last night, I took out the drawers in the kitchen and cleaned them … the fridge is up to snuff.

Gerry and I decided, this year, to give ourselves one, really useful, Christmas gift so I now have a black, gleaming, external harddrive sitting here on my desk! What a treat! 1TB and I’m slowly but surely transferring photos there. I was so behind, burning DVD:s and my own harddrive was filling up.

My sister-in-law, back in Sweden had one too. I showed her, that she could select many files at the same time — she didn’t have to transfer them, one at the time — by pressing either CTRL or holding down the SHIFT-key. She thought that was just a marvellous revelation! The thing was, she was constantly sitting and playing around with the touch-pad on her laptop, sort of moving it round and round, which caused her ending up with 30,000 duplicates at one time! Imagine the job to sort that out!

gratitude

When you’re feeling really «down and out» … when you’re really sick … when there’s something terrible that you know you have to endure … Does it help you to think about all the ones in much worse conditions/circumstances than yourself? The ones with no feet, when you have feet but no shoes?

I often think of things that I’m really thankful for and I even wrote a blog post about the little things in life [http://wp.me/p1xrrk-1QN], but question is … does it make me happier to think about all the people in worse conditions. I think not. Gratitude is one thing, but were I in a state of depression, it sure wouldn’t grant me any brighter outlook, thinking about all the misery in this world. Rather the opposite.

Now before Christmas, there are always two ‘commercials’ appearing on TV and both of them make me equally sad. One is about starving children in Africa and they play John Lennon’s «So this is Christmas» in the background. The other one is about abused and neglected animals, with Sarah McLaughlan … there they play «You were always on my Mind» with Willie Nelson.  Both of them break my heart.

Thinking about all the misery can help you to put things in a different perspective. I really am happy and thankful for this warm apartment and this computer with Internet connection, where I can sit and type instead of dragging a shopping cart around the streets of Saint John, checking out garbage cans for stuff. I’m happy enough … not in any state of euphoria, but reasonably happy and content. I have all that I could possibly wish for and I don’t go out chasing happiness. If I can make a difference in someone’s life — I will.

The soggy day outside doesn’t affect my mood at all, but I’d enjoy a bit of snow.

This post was merely an experiment. I typed it up without stopping or hesitating … not knowing if I’d post it or not. Just wanted to put my thoughts down on the screen and it was inspired by this post, that I’d just read.

PS: And since this is an experiment, I’d like to add something after having read it through. Those two commercials are only put out before the Christmas season … never in June, for example. They’re about money/giving, but the only effect they have on me is that they make me want to sit in a dark corner and cry my eyes out. Cry, over the meanness of the people of this world and the fact that there’s is nothing I possibly can do about them.