Friday, December 30, 2016

December Thoughts: End of Year

End of Year
Jennifer E. Miller

Oi. The week between Christmas and New Year's is a crazy jungle of me losing my mind. Goes a little something like this: Christmas Eve with Mom and sister; Christmas morning, of course; Christmas at aunt at uncle's; Christmas at in-laws; Dad arrives day after Christmas; G's birthday and Dad's birthday the following day; G's birthday party with friends. I possess the approximate tolerance of the Princess and the Pea princess. 

I try really hard to separate G's birthday and Dad's birthday from Christmas. They do have to suck it up and withstand celebrating together. We go out to eat on one day (usually G's) and activities are thrown together to be for both of them. Otherwise I would spontaneously combust. And if I spontaneously combusted, who would feed them? This year we crammed a little of what each of them wanted to do. It was a busy but fun day. 

First, we headed out for the east end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. But, but it's winter, you say. Yes, yes it is. See, there are very special visitors this time of year: bald eagles. They gather near Wolf Lodge Bay to snag the spawning kokanee fish. As most people know, this bird was somewhat recently removed from the endangered species list. We do see pairs nesting at our fishing holes during the spring and summer months, too. However, we have never ventured to Wolf Lodge Bay during "Eagle Watch Week" to see the large number of birds this time of year. Idaho Fish and Game had checkpoints set up with spotting scopes to view the birds up close. The weather was frigid, but I'm glad we made it out there. We watched several birds dive to the surface of the lake to catch fish. It was like observing a National Geographic film in the making. Naturally, I brought my camera and snapped some photos. I uploaded a few to which you can view here. I have since made further adjustments to exposures and colors, but you see my foundation work. 

Next we went to the movie theater because this was what G really wanted to do on her birthday. We saw "Sing" which was actually pretty cute. G is really into music and singing shows like Disney's Austin and Ally and this was right along those lines. She loves to get the huge bottomless popcorn tub, which Grandpa (my dad) and T enjoy as well. I'm not a popcorn enthusiast. I can't stand the kernel shells stuck in my gums. 

After the movie we planned to meet Auntie M at Applebee's for dinner. Since Auntie wasn't able to make it to the movie, G got a whole refill of popcorn to take to her. An entire buttery tub of popcorn, whose aroma filled the car, which no one was allowed to eat because it was going to be Auntie's treat. Can you imagine how the drive went? If not, allow me to enlighten you:

"Let me have some more popcorn," said Grandpa.
"NOOOOOOO!" say G as she slaps his hand away. "This popcorn is for Auntie! You already ate a ton during the movie."
"Please? Just a little? I don't think Auntie will mind."
"Yes she will. YES SHE WILL! I am going to tell on you."

This goes on back and forth until we reach Applebee's. Thank goodness it's only a few minutes from the theater. We eat dinner and Auntie doesn't even complain. She is not an Applebee's fan and will pretty much argue about where to eat until you are ready to gouge your eyeballs out with the nearest pencil. Mark my words. This is the first time she relented and ate at the restaurant everybody else wanted, even though it was at an establishment she dislikes. 

For dessert we wandered over to Krispy Kreme doughnuts. G wanted to ride in Auntie's car and, of course, give her the popcorn. Dad, T, and I all laughed on the way over: we wondered if the popcorn was going to spill all over Auntie's car. She planned ahead, however. She took a photo and showed us that the popcorn got buckled into the seat. Ha ha ha!

Finally we all get to go home and rest. What a day! You would think that would be enough celebrating, but now tomorrow is G's party for her friends. In fact, I think I should go to bed now. I cannot wait until I can ship her off to school on Monday. Good night.

Copyright 2016 Jennifer E. Miller

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