My favorite Christmas ornaments

Since I seem to be suffering from writer’s block and have nothing better to share, I thought I’d post pictures of some of my favorite ornaments from our Christmas tree. So, without further ado…

How life almost ruined my favorite movie

After eating a rather large meal of leftovers at our neighbor’s house last night, we washed the dishes and settled in to watch Home For The Holidays, a film that has long been my favorite and has become somewhat of a tradition for me to watch every year around Thanksgiving. I wasn’t sure how Mrs. J would react to the crazy tone that prevails throughout much of the movie and I forewarned her about the strong language, even though I’ve heard many of the same words come from her mouth. She seemed to have a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on, but did laugh occasionally, getting particularly tickled at the flatulence of one of the characters.

About halfway through, she suddenly let out a yelp and grabbed her left arm. After assuring us that she was fine, we continued watching the film, but noticed that she kept holding her arm and had become very quiet. After about five minutes had passed, we realized that she was going to have to go to the emergency room. She grimaced in pain as she told us she didn’t want to go, but we insisted, giving her the “better safe than sorry” reasoning. Her pain grew steadily worse as we hurriedly helped put her shoes on and gathered up necessary insurance information, so we decided that it would be better to call 911 than to spend precious time getting her out to the car with a walker.

As I stood outside waiting to flag down the EMTs, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to pass away and if the memory would prevent me from ever watching my favorite movie again. Pathetic, I know, but one’s mind doesn’t immediately put things into proper perspective during situations like these.

The ambulance arrived within 10 minutes and was soon en route to the hospital. Honey rode in the ambulance and I followed in my car, hazard lights flashing, nervously praying that she wouldn’t die of a heart attack. We arrived at the emergency room around 7pm and she was in the CCU by 10:30pm. They are still running a series of tests to determine if she had a heart attack, but all the preliminary results show that she didn’t.

Perhaps it’s stress. She’s had a rough year – breaking her hip, a hospital stay, recuperation in a nursing home, then finally getting to return home only to have her younger sister pass away from cancer a few weeks later. It’s easy to see how circumstances could be taking a toll on her physical health.

We were allowed to go back for a short visit after they got her settled in for the night. As we assured her that she would be fine, she looked up with very heavy eyes and said, “Now see what you’ve got me into.”

Oh, well. I guess there are two more things to be thankful for this holiday season. She’s apparently going to be fine, and I can watch my movie next year without having dreadful memories.


The Holidays – I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. I started filling out our Christmas greeting cards yesterday and also considered putting up the tree, but thought better of it after considering how much fun Macy Gray might have destroying it while I’m at work. Any ideas on how to kitten-proof an artificial Christmas tree?

Uncle Honey – Honey’s sister had a baby girl a few days ago and he’s already in love with the little one.

Movies – I discovered that Mrs. J likes to watch movies, so I took a DVD player and some DVDs over to her house last week. Over the last several days, we’ve watched The March of the Penguins, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men (her favorite), and Some Like It Hot.

Circle of life

I spent yesterday evening with our neighbor, who is still recovering from the very recent loss of her younger sister to cancer. She succumbed to the disease exactly two weeks after her diagnosis and her funeral service was held on Tuesday.

We watched The March of the Penguins. This was my second opportunity to see it, but her first. She was captivated, telling me afterwards that she had no idea that the lives of the birds were so difficult. We don’t often see that side of the animal kingdom; one so similar to our own – filled with triumph and tragedy.

I was particularly struck by the revelation that the older birds often die in the same spot where they are conceived, hatched, and reared. The cruel, cold world that they are born into usually claims their life in the end. There seems to be an almost poetic beauty in their demise.

It also seems strangely fitting that my partner is away visiting his sister as she brings new life into the world. One life ends and another begins. There is balance, there is order, there is harmony.