“It’s a special night of anticipation, the moonbeams strong on the old band shell”

Christmas seems to have suddenly attacked! The first week of December I had a cookie bake-off at work (which I organized, and which got rave reviews!), and then that Friday was my annual Christmas shopping day with MB and L. This year was a little different, because I actually started my Christmas shopping really early (like, back in July) and picked things up as I saw stuff that would make good gifts. Much of the rest I’d taken care of online. But I still had a couple things I wanted to look for, and of course it’s just nice to spend a day with a couple of my good friends. We ended up hitting the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, Ikea, and the KoP Mall, followed by an early dinner at Seasons 52 before we all crashed. (And I didn’t even have an hour+ drive home, unlike the other two!)




Last week featured what I’ve been calling the “mandatory party” at work (hastily organized by our department across multiple sites, due to jealousy over our successful cookie bake-off); it wasn’t actually so bad. There was a good turn-out and people brought good snacks and we played some word games. We were scheduled to have our first two concerts of the holiday season, but the first was cancelled due to snow and ice, so we just had one, which went well.

On Friday, I hosted what is probably the best party I have ever thrown or will ever throw. From the beginning, it promised to be good: guests were invited to bring a dip for a “battle of the dips” (I provided chips, veggies, and other dippers); we had a “photo booth” area set up with a backdrop, hats, signs, props, and a camera on a tripod; but what nobody knew was that I’d scheduled a special performer. Tons of people were canceling on us at the last minute, and all I could think was, “You’re going to be really sorry when you see that you missed a clown!” I’m not sure exactly where this idea came from, I was talking to a coworker about wanting to do something special for our party, and somehow came away with the idea of hiring a clown. I got bids from a couple performers, and ended up going with this company that books all different performers, so I didn’t know exactly what I was going to get. The party was going great, everyone had been there for an hour or two, when there was a knock at the door. GG knew he was on door-answering/coat-taking duty, so he opened the door. If nobody else had come to the party, I really just wanted to see the look on his face when he saw the clown. He did not disappoint! He turned to me and asked, “Um, did you hire a clown?!” Yes! The clown wasn’t really decked out in a full clown outfit, which was slightly disappointing. Also, she was there to make balloon animals, and the only shape she could make was a dog. If I’d hired her for an actual kids’ birthday party, I might have been upset that she couldn’t do all the shapes and things, but as it was, it kind of added to the silliness of it! First person asked for a dog: easy. I asked for a cat: also a dog. B asked for a T-rex: it’s a dog! S asked for a giraffe: a dog with an extra-long tail (yes, tail)! It was a super fun night, and I think everyone had a great time! I don’t know how I’m ever going to top that. Oh, and the winning dips were MB’s Bacon Jam, JB’s Baked Brie, and JH’s Cookie Dough Dip (which I will be making for myself soon)!





After all that excitement, GG and I had planned to go to New York for the day the following day, but the gross weather scrapped those plans – and I’m glad we stayed home, because I was beat! This week, we have more holiday concerts, parties for band and work, a pre-holiday family dinner, and GG and I are seeing a live performance of David Sedaris’ “The SantaLand Diaries.” In addition to all that fun, I now also have cat stuff to deal with: despite getting her appetite back and not throwing up all the time, Katrina has continued to lose weight. I had her back at the vet today, and they examined her and found a mass in her abdomen that wasn’t there a couple months ago. Apparently, tumors and things can grow faster in cats than they do in humans. It could be an enlarged organ or something, but to make sure, she’s going for a kitty ultrasound later this week :o( I don’t know what we’re going to do, I guess we’ll see what we find out. Send good thoughts for my little girl this week.


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