I forgot to mention a fun activity from Girls' Weekend Out. Sunday morning, we amused ourselves with a site The Warrior Princess introduced us to, FreeRice.com. There, you play a vocabulary game and, for each word you get correct, rice is donated to the United Nations food program.
Warning: it is highly addictive if you're an English geek like myself. The Warrior Princess was preternaturally good, what with her prodigious vocabulary.
I was helpful primarily with any word that had a French root, or if I recognized it from a Monty Python sketch or a Shakespeare play. The Cousin and I were frequently given to quoting lines in order to parse the meaning of the words.
Today is a particularly balmy day, and I don't even need gloves. So it seems funny to be talking about Christmas, but it seems everywhere I go, people ask how my Christmas preparations are going. So here's a run-down of my Christmas checklist.
Christmas cards: SENT
I got those in the mail last week, excepting a couple people for whom I need updated addresses. We also gave cards, along with holiday tips, to our hair stylist and our two pet sitters. Usually, we can expect to receive Christmas cards in response, which I then hang on the refrigerator. This year, however, a lot of people are replying via e-mail, so the refrigerator may be barer this year.
I went to a party supply store and bought some decorations to hang in the windows of our front porch, including some snowmen, a candy cane and snowflakes. I intend to hang them sometime this week.
Gifts: MOSTLY PURCHASED
My family has decided to go easy on the gifts this year, so I'm primarily giving everyone an 8 x 10 wedding photo, all of which have arrived. But since we'd already promised Mom and Dad photos as a wedding thank-you, we'll get them a small Christmas gift to open, as well. We'll also send something up for my niece and nephew. We should be able to finish all the Christmas gift business this weekend.
Christmas ornaments: RESEARCHING
I liked the idea of making Christmas ornaments with my family as a group activity, since my dad will be putting up a tree for the first time in his place. I need to research some creative, easy ornaments to make together. Then I'll put together the craft supplies to do so.
Holiday food: PONDERING
The Gryphon and I might come up with a festive holiday dish to share with my family, probably gleaned from the Food Network's Web site. That can wait until much closer to the time.
In other news, yesterday was the first time I went to the new hair salon my stylist started with a partner. It's a bit further out in terms of distance, but the road there is less busy, so it didn't take me any longer to get there.
They just opened the shop the week before and have decorated it in a up-to-date style, with caramel-colored walls and sleek, dark wood stations with ergodynamic chairs. You can put your feet up while having your hair washed, and the sinks are adjustable.
The decor is minimalist for the nonce, but they did have some modern looking Christmas ornaments. The stylist said they're also waiting for specialty lighting to be installed.
My stylist seemed happy to be doing her own thing. I know it always irritated her to be working for someone else, subject to their rules and practices. She was in a chipper mood, which was nice to see.
The Gryphon, on a tip from The Tech Guru, has set up an appointment with a new hair stylist, since he can't make it to the new place easily. The hair salon where he'll go is in Center City and therefore, he can reach it easily via public transportation after work.
I can't get "A Spoonful of Sugar" out of my head. Not entirely a bad thing. The Gryphon and I just watched Mary Poppins, which was the first time for me. I'd seen segments before but never the complete picture. The film had been mentioned several times at Disney World, and when I told The Gryphon I hadn't seen it, he said we'd have to rent it.
He was right: it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Really, an old-school musical, fun for kids of all ages, as they say. You just can't beat the combination of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke for entertainment value. So if I'm zipping around for the next few weeks singing, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," don't be surprised.
And no, that word is not on the Free Rice site. But it should be.
Educational games can be highly addictive to word nerds.