Actually, it's been a little over a month. That's because every time I sat down to post, I ended up going into such a Woe-is-me rant that I shut it down again. Nobody wants to read weeks of me just moaning and whining about how sorry for myself I'm feeling.
Anyway, here, in no particular order, are the events that kept me from posting anything worth reading until now:
My uncle A died. It was expected; he'd been very ill for a long time, and I think everyone heaved a sigh of relief that he's no longer sick and in pain. But at the same time, it was very sad - he was the "baby" of my Mom's family (and I think kind of her favourite sibling; they were close), and even those of us who weren't as close to him as we would have liked were sorry to have him leave us. He was only a few years older than Big Guy; my cousins are closer in age to my daughters than to me, and both have little ones themselves. It just doesn't seem right that they won't grow up knowing their wonderful, funny, loving, kind, wise grandfather.
I somehow managed to dislocate two fingers in my sleep. How the heck does that happen? And in doing so, I also tore the cartilage, and tore the skin on one knuckle just enough for infection to get into the joints. So I ended up with a honkin' big awkward splint, and two weeks' worth of antibiotics. Now, antibiotics and IBS are definitely not a good combination ... I'll spare you the details, but believe me, it got ugly.
Halfway through my round of antibiotics, Big Guy got an abcessed molar and ended up on penicillin himself. It's true what they say about the effect of penicillin on the digestive tract ... and we have one, count 'em, one bathroom. Let's just say there were a few exchanges of less-than-polite language and leave it at that.
When I went to start doing my holiday cards, I discovered that I'd completely forgotten to clean my favourite fountain pen after the last time I used it. I had to soak it in water for four days to loosen up the dried ink enough to take the pen apart and clean it properly before I could reload and use it. Every time I drained the water, shook the pen, and put it in fresh water I felt like an idiot.
Last Tuesday at work, we were informed that the line will be cancelling its Pacific Northwest services mid-February, and "some time between now and the end of February" our company (the agents for the line) will be closing down all their Canadian offices for good. Hello, unemployment. Again. Only this time, I don't know when the axe will actually fall, and so don't know what to plan for. Of course, come Monday I will once again be sending out resumes and cover letters - and this time, I'll also be sending out a flyer advertising my services as a freelance temp. With the current state of the economy, it's anyone's guess how long I'll be out of work this time. And this time, I won't qualify as "long-tenured", so I'll only be eligible for five or six months of E.I. instead of twenty months.
But ... I'd hardly done any Christmas shopping yet, so I'm able to scale back my spending budget quite severely without feeling too much hardship. (Although if I'd known a couple of months ago about the impending office closure, I'd have done this year's craft fairs after all!) The family party will still be here; sister S has already delivered the gingerbread, and has promised one of her "signature" party dishes. My second batch of shortbread is in the oven and making the house smell festive, and last week's winds brought down enough evergreen twigs, branches and cones that my decorating will be almost effortless. And... ta-daa! ... I found the candy canes, so I got to cross them off the shopping list. The rest of the groceries are in the house, I remembered where I stashed the holiday cookie tins, and I found a super-easy recipe for pumpkin tart filling. Oh, and J has offered to leave work early on Party Day and whip up a big platter of her killer spring rolls!
So life isn't so bad after all. I'm still blessed with family and good friends, I still have a warm, dry home and enough to eat, and I'm blessed with loved ones who understand that this season is really about how we feel, not about how much money we spend.