A local church re-creates Bethlehem, with beggars and vendors and various booths where the kids can make things like pottery and rope. The last stop is the manger. The children are so into this that they give the baby the things they have just made, and that they are so very proud of.
When I was at the factory last week, I was at someone's desk, getting information from her. It was taking a long time, so I sat down on the floor. This really disturbed one of the men, who kept offering to get me a chair. I assured him that I am very comfortable on the floor, and that, while I can clean up and go to fancy places and behave myself, I can't do it for long. Next thing you know, my shoes are off and I'm sitting on the floor.
The last several days have been my usual Christmas routine:
I was almost done with the shopping part, but discovered a couple of adorable little girls who are going through a rough time, since their mother has apparently "given" them to their grandmother. I don't think these girls really lack for material things, but I do think some carefully chosen presents might help them to know that other people think they are valuable and worthwhile. Can you imagine the pain they must be feeling! My normal I-love-everybody-cause-it's-Christmas feeling does NOT extend to their mother.
Work is still busy, because customers discover money left in their budget, and if they don't spend it, the budget will be cut next year. There is always a mad rush this time of year.
As you can see, I really don't have anything to say, but I just had to post something to show off my new skin. Now I'm off to another round of shop, wrap, bake, repeat.
In other words, it's been a very busy couple of weeks. But now that little bit of torture is done, and I'm ready to get into full gear on Christmas. In the next couple of days I have to:
1. Buy presents for everyone left on my list, which now consists of the extremely difficult and the impossible.
2. Bake another 20 or so batches of cookies.
3. Box up about half of those and send them off to the factory. (They were asking when they'd be getting their Christmas cookies when I was there.)
4. Take most of the rest to my customers.
5. Find my American Express card, which is somewhere with the ticket from the airport parking lot. It was very late when I got home, and I have no idea where I put it. I discovered it was missing tonight when I bought some ink for my printer.
6. Go see my grandson's screamer Christian rock band (I wish I were kidding) play at a coffee house Friday night.
7. Go see the Little Angel's church play Saturday night.
8. Convince the Professor that he wants to get the outside lights up before Christmas.
9. Go back to this wonderful little church we attended last week. Being the kind of Episcopalians who think they should never have changed the prayer book, we have been pretty bad about going. But we discovered that the closest church to us uses the old service at 8:00 AM. Prof and I went last week, and right after communion we looked at each other and said WHY haven't we been doing this? So we're going to get back in the habit of going every week.
10. Pick up breakfast for one of my distributors and have it there by 7:30 tomorrow. They are moving to a new building, and when I offered to help, the clever branch manager told me I could be of the most help by bringing them breakfast.
11. Clean my house. Visit my mother. Make my grocery shopping list. Cure cancer. Bring about world peace. You know, just a normal too-much-to-do kind of weekend.
The Masai warriors wear red because they believe that lions are afraid of the color. A man must never wear pants, because pants reveal to lions that you have two legs. The lion knows you cannot outrun him with only two legs, so he will kill you. But if you do not wear pants, you can walk right by a lion and he will never realize that you are a human. All this was told to me by the young men in this picture.
The Masai men jump to attract women. The higher they can jump, the more attractive they are. Women never jump; apparently men are attracted by other things. (Probably how strong they are and how much they can carry, since women do all the work.) I suggested that these young men should come to America to play basketball. They gave me blank stares, but when I pantomimed dribbling and shooting a basket, they broke into grins and let me know that they recognized the game, if not the name.
At the Nutcracker -- and this had better be the only "rat" that ever hugs her!
Update: My biopsy results came back benign! Apparently even the doctor was convinced it was cancer (and I sure was), so we are very VERY happy in the Mitey Mite household. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and kind thoughts.
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This is a house in Murren Switzerland. It was cold and dark and snowing, and the lights in this house looked so warm and friendly.