Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Christmas shopping

I felt better this morning and managed to get out the door and on my way to work.  So that was a good thing, and even though I didn't get nearly enough done, just being there helps in so many ways and I can tell it is a relief when my staff sees me.  And that feels good.  I hate how much they have each taken on with me out so much, and we are on the verge of so many great things that are on hold now.  But I am doing the best I can, and they each know it, and they are a wonderful team, each member helping out the next, working for the Section then just their assigned tasks.  They are just the greatest.  

I managed to make it until 12:30 with a last minute flurry of activity coming in that kept me from leaving at noon.  I drove home and decided to surprise dad with lunch that had meat in it.  I don't eat much meat, and no beef or pork at all.  The last beef I ate was 1976, and that is when a doctor suggested that I stop eating meat for 2 weeks, and within that time all of my stomach problems cleared up completely, so no meat.  But Dad is a meat, potato and green veggie guy.  Even now at 85 he has a salad almost everyday, and for dinner he will have a meat, a starch and a green veggie.  He relies more and more on the Hungry Man frozen dinners, but he still does a lot of cooking for himself and is basically a very healthy eater.  Maybe a little heavy on the meat for a Mediterranean diet, but still lots of variety and fruits and veggies.  But he does love a "good" hamburger so I thought I would get him one from McD's.  Yes I know it is obvious that I don't eat meat.  But he likes their quarter pounder and really doesn't eat fast food.  So I pull in to order his burger and fries and a strawberry shake and no shakes.  So I pull across the street to Arby's, yes they have strawberry shakes, and he likes Ruben's, so set.  No, the strawberry shake is now strawberry and BANANA shake.  My Dad does not like banana's in anything, just Alacarte.  But I was able to score a vanilla shake, and when I got home he looked pretty happy.  Not only meat, but his weird veggie daughter got it for him, and who doesn't smile when they get a milk shake?  So we had a nice lunch and I was actually ready to lay down.  But know, out come the Christmas catalogs.

You see my dad, and my Mother when she was alive here, loved Christmas, and they were good at it.  With very little money they made sure each year to give us something that would be very special, and I have to say my life is filled with these sweet happy memories.  And Dad buys Christmas presents for people all over the world.  Seriously, Spain and the Netherlands.  His friend in Scotland passed on, so just the two countries now.  But he searches for something small and not expensive, just a token to let each person knows that he is thinking of them.  And I also send gifts to many of these same people.  Again, just a small token to say, "I remember you and you are special to me."  Well Dad takes many many hours pouring over hundreds of catalogs.  The mailman is constantly commenting that he delivers about 6 catalogs or magazines to Dad's house every day.  Yes, everyday.  He pours over each catalog turning down pages.  And today he brought them out.  He had already shown them to me when he first got here, but it was a quick run through.  Today he had made a list with everyone on it, grouped by family.  And after lunch I pulled a chair up to his and off we ran.  Coordinating what we each send so that we build on the theme.  This year the theme was monograms.  We fired down the list starting with the 4 ladies in the Netherlands, then hit the 2 families in Spain, and finally working on the non-biological family in this country.  Then balancing the budget and cost of each family Dad settled on a present for the men and we completed one and a half pages within 2 hours.  That leaves mostly family presents which are a little tougher for tonight or tomorrow.  I picked out a lovely cobalt blue ceramic compost pail, with a charcoal filter lid!  I never know for sure what he will end up getting for everyone.  The prices are so inexpensive that they sell out pretty quick, then you have to order the same thing from another catalog, which I am sure that the same company owns both, and pay way more, or try and find something else.  Plus he will continue to look in catalogs and find things that he may like better.  He started catalog shopping a few years back when he started having so much trouble walking and getting around from his arthritis in his back.  So he still gets to buy his presents, but now from the comfort of his lazy boy.  He does need some help though, and the timing of this trip worked out great, hopefully he can call early enough now that he will get most of what he orders.  

And now he is napping and I am going to lay down.  It has been a very productive day.  I still have the same discomfort, but I have grown pretty used to it by now.  And when Mary reminded me that I have the pain meds, use them, that helped a lot.  I guess I don't care that I hurt as much as I did, and that is a good thing.


  1. Holy Crap! Y'all got your Christmas shopping done! I am in awe!
    I love you, Kathleen. You are the world's best daughter and friend, as well. I hope you know that.

  2. wow, that is remarkable that you would show such patience with your father.

  3. Funny. I was just thinking about Xmas shopping. I have one close friend who tries to get hers done by Sept. I am one of those still out shopping up till the end!

  4. I can't think about Christmas yet. I have to get through Halloween and then Thanksgiving. It is just the way that I keep each little special holiday special.