I’m a little late with my post today because my youngest brother and his family just left after a short visit. As is usual with them, this was a visit fraught with drama because of the uncertainty of when they would actually arrive. Last week, they couldn’t decide whether to come New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Then by Saturday, they had decided on New Year’s Day until they learned that my niece’s kids had to start school today, so they changed it to this Friday. Then my niece told them that her Friday night and Saturday were booked, and my sister told them that she had to work both Friday and Saturday night, so they changed their arrival date back to New Year’s Day. On Monday, New Year’s Eve, I was just heading out to the store to make sure we had food for their visit when my sister-in-law called and told me they had decided to come that day, and they would be here in about five hours. So, I went to my niece’s house to let them know and do a little planning. Then I went to the store, which was packed with people. Then I came home and began changing the beds and cleaning bathrooms. They didn’t actually arrive around five like they told us, but closer to six thirty. It is always nice to see them, but we go through something like this every time because they can’t make up their minds what they are going to do.
So, we had a New Year’s Eve party at our house. My niece and sister brought over almost a complete taco dinner. All I had to make was guacamole. With the two families and me and Wayne, we had 12 people in the house, which for us is a lot of people, since for years we have been alone on New Year’s Eve. Since we knew not everyone would make it to midnight, we toasted the New Year in at 9 PM, midnight New York time. After we all sang Auld Lang Syne, Søren, my five-year-old great nephew said, “So, where’s the toast?” This remark became an instant family classic.
We spent the rest of the evening playing silly games, and we watched a movie. My brother has friends who are in the Motion Picture Academy, so they brought along a bag full of the submissions for this year’s Academy Awards. I was surprised to find that I had already seen about five of them, because usually the past few years I am lucky to have seen one. We watched Green Book, which was very good. They left a couple of the movies with us that they don’t have to return to their friends, and my sister took the rest, so we will be trading them around. I have the one about Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the one about Laurel and Hardy.
This has been a week for movies, because this Sunday I went to see Mary Poppins Returns with my sister and my niece’s children. They all loved it. I had mixed feelings. This movie purposefully evokes the original movie, even playing themes from it in the background and having the cartoon penguins in it again, and so on. The two stars are very talented, and Lin Manuel Miranda has the cutest smile. However, as far as the format of the movie went, I felt it wasn’t very original. The Banks children were now adults, and the movie was about Michael’s children. There was one animated scene, just like in the original movie. There was a bunch of dancing lamplighters instead of a bunch of dancing chimney sweeps. There was a woman who went topsy turvey instead of a man who floated when he laughed. There was a balloon saleslady instead of a birdseed seller, and there was drama at the bank. It is a completely enjoyable movie, but it was too much like the original one for me. And, I don’t think it had any memorable songs. My sister and brothers and I can still sing all of the songs from the original movie, which came out when I was in middle school.
The family stayed until this afternoon, when they were on their way to visit friends in Oregon. Lukey was in seventh heaven the whole time because of the kids and their dog, Sage. We were disappointed to miss a mini pack walk this week because my family was here, but Luke got to run around with Sage for two days. He was a bit taken aback at her arrival on New Year’s Eve, and we had to keep them separate. But by the next day, they seemed to be getting along just fine after a few minutes. Sage, in fact, had to correct his puppy behavior a few times. She’s a grown dog, and she wasn’t putting up with his puppy foolishness.
When the heating guy came out last Thursday, he explained to us that when the heat exchanger gets iced up, it defrosts. That was why Wayne saw it steaming. It was just doing what it was supposed to do, and if we had just turned up the thermostat to a normal temperature, we would have saved ourselves almost a week of shivering. Then on Friday morning, the chimney sweep came out, so now we are back to being toasty, which was good, since we had guests.
Aside from having the family here, nothing particularly interesting has gone on this week. Most activities were cancelled except art class. I did a double, finished my sky and made a good start on my castle or cathedral or whatever Mt. St. Michel is.
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and a pleasant start to the new year!