My fabulous, luxurious life.

So Alan, who is normally immune to sales pitches of all kinds, saw a “brown Friday” sale on the Tushy aftermarket bidet, and bought one.

By “aftermarket” I mean that it didn’t involve installing a new fixture in our brand-new bathroom, but was one of those things that attaches to the bottom of your toilet seat and uses the same water line. There’s a button to the side that you use to direct and control the stream.

I avoided it for a few days, thinking, god, who wants to squirt cold water on your asshole, but eventually thought I needed to at least try it. The first splash was a little weird, but within one or two, um, days, I was a convert. Now, when I feel the urge, I go upstairs to the Tushy bathroom and indulge myself. I can’t wait for warm weather, when the cool stream will feel even more refreshing.

It serves to remind me, once again, that middle-class Americans* enjoy a standard of living the richest people a century ago couldn’t imagine.

We went through a few castles/fine homes in Spain, including the Casa Mila in Barcelona, one of Gaudi’s many masterpieces. It was built to house one of the city’s wealthiest families, and yet, a stroll through their living spaces is fairly underwhelming. The audio guide directed our attention, in the bathroom, to a samovar-like tank on a rack over the tub. About five gallons, maybe, with a gas burner underneath. This gave the bather the unimaginable luxury of…hot water. Years ago, I worked on a custom-publishing job about some great houses in Detroit. I looked through the correspondence of the original head of the household, and it was filled with bitching about how much it cost to heat the place, and the damn servants kept leaving windows cracked, in the dead of winter, and how do you like them apples.

I thought about this as I patted my backside dry with a few squares of TP this morning. World, envy me, for I have a clean butthole!

Two warnings about the Tushy: First, make sure to Google “tushy bidet” and go to that link; do not, for any reason, visit tushy-dot-com. Second, if you decide to buy one, prepare yourself for a barrage of excrement puns in your email, filled with poop emojis and the like. You can unsubscribe, of course, but just be advised. If you’re sensitive to that kind of thing.

* And our pets. It’s ridiculous.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been riveted by the news out of Washington the past few days — the J6 committee report, the Trump tax returns, all of it. Too many links to post. What are the odds the Justice Department will actually live up to its name? Discuss.

Otherwise, we’re all waiting for the big blizzard that’s supposed to hit us overnight. (I had my teeth cleaned on Tuesday, and the hygienist said, “What about those people in Florida? It’s supposed to be in the 40s there!” My reply: “Who gives a shit?”)

Snow totals for our part of Michigan’s banana belt are now forecast at 2 inches, which is nothing, but the wind and plunging temperatures could be grim. I’m way more concerned with power outages. Keeping all devices charged today, and you should, too.

Hunker down! Let’s hope for some good pictures!

Posted at 9:38 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

72 responses to “My fabulous, luxurious life.”

  1. Mark P said on December 22, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Maybe it’s just holiday ennui, but I will be extremely surprised if the Justice Department takes any action against Trump, and the decision will be entirely political. Despite all the good things that have happened since Trump was defeated, I am not optimistic about our future. Warnock’s victory should have been a landslide, not a squeaker. People actually voted for Hersche Walker, not to mention Marjorie Taylor Greene. Think about that for a moment. I mean, whom the gods would destroy and all that, but Jesus f’in Keerist, there’s no need for utter humiliation.

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  2. Deborah said on December 22, 2022 at 10:36 am

    I don’t get it. If the Justice Department does nothing isn’t that also being political? Damned if you do or don’t, so just do it because it’s the right thing to do.

    I’m having a hard time visualizing this bidet dohickey (one of my favorite words now thanks to A. Vindman) I guess I’ll Google it.

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  3. Deborah said on December 22, 2022 at 11:21 am

    OK, I saw it, now I’m conflicted. In Santa Fe the question is would we be guilty of more water usage or would we be more environmentally righteous by using less toilet paper? I’m kidding of course. It looks like a cool gizmo but I have reservations regarding aim and cleanliness of the sprayer itself.

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  4. FDChief said on December 22, 2022 at 11:41 am

    No. Neither Tubby nor any of the other traitors (Hawley, Greene, Gaetz…) will so much as go shy a slug or miss a meal.

    This is because 1) they are wealthy and white, and this country is appallingly bad about making wealthy white people so much as mildly inconvenienced let alone jailed, and 2) they are Republicans, and as such the default setting of most of the news media. So their various crimes don’t get reported as such. Try getting away with that stuff if you’re Ilhan Omar. You’ll be a guest of the federal corrections staff before you can whistle.

    This was a problem when wealthy white Republicans were just ordinary oligarchy-fluffers. Now that a big chunk of them are to the right of Benito Mussolini? That’s a “republic-destroying” kind of problem.

    GOP delenda est.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on December 22, 2022 at 11:43 am

    We looked at a house with a bidet. First and last time I’ve seen one.

    This Floridian can handle 40’s but at night it might freeze, so we’ll be worried about the garden. We’ve been having salads with our own greens and sandwiches with tomatoes. Time to get out the old sheets.

    The other day I mentioned the meh-ness of Michelle Obama’s new book, and I finally figured out it wasn’t written for me. It was written for young folk who are just starting off in life and need her wisdom and home truths. I think it’s more a graduation present book, though rather long for one.

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  6. Mssr. Coffee said on December 22, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    I bought the more-luxurious Tushy unit, with two water supply lines, one of which you plumb into the hot-water supply of the sink which is undoubtedly alongside the thundermug. That one has a knob for adjusting the mixture, and thus the temperature of the cleansing water. That gently-warm stream, giving my fundamental aperture a shower … it’s like a kiss from Mother Nature, assuring me of her tender love.

    All my previous life, smearing the crap off my butt with dry paper … that’s barnyard animal stuff, but you don’t realize it until you experience civilization. And yes, the post-sale Tushy email is something to unsubscribe from instantly, or even sooner.

    Within a day or two of bidet ownership, one’s only remaining problem is that, every now and then, you need to do Number Two away from home. If possible, I endure substantial discomfort to avoid that.

    And, by the way, there’s no need to use even a square of TP to dry off — not if you’re a bathroom reader, that is. I just sit there for another page or two and drip-dry. It’s The Green Thing to Do!

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  7. Dorothy said on December 22, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Mark the Justice Department will charge him because the cost of NOT charging him is entirely too great. If he gets away with it, what’s going to stop the next mentally ill, delusional nut job from trying it in the future? It’s going to take time but I have every confidence he’s going to be put on trial. The longer it takes the more demented he’ll get, and that’s only a positive thing. I’m generally a pretty optimistic person and much of the time things turn out pretty dang good. Except for 2016.

    I watched rapt when Zelenskyy addressed Congress last night. Nancy Pelosi was beaming at him so much I thought she might blind someone. It’s the mom in her that we were seeing.

    Please send up prayers to whoever you think could help in reuniting a 5 month old baby boy with his twin brother and their parents. A car was stolen in Columbus a few nights ago. One twin was found at the Dayton airport 6 hours later. The other is still missing. I’m so hopeful he’s alive and well. But the longer it takes to find him I fear his chances get smaller and smaller. We need a Christmas miracle.

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  8. alex said on December 22, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t need a sprayer for my ass. I need one for the insides of the bowl.

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  9. susan said on December 22, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Yah, this summer I finally had a Toto Washlet®™© bidet thingy installed. And boy howdy, I love it. It’s a more complicated affair than the Tushy®™©, since I had to have a new outlet for it. It plugs in. Because, WARM WATER BUTT WASH. You can’t beat that, now that it is 0° or lower at night, with a high of 7° during the day. One time, for shits (oof, sorry) and giggles, I tried an unheated wash. Eeeeeeeeekkkk! Nope.

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  10. susan said on December 22, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    And Alex, the Toto Washlet®™© also does spray the inside of the bowl.

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  11. Deborah said on December 22, 2022 at 4:58 pm

    Stayed in a hotel in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago when there for a design meeting. It had one of those Japanese toilets that made a racket and didn’t clean itself very well. I didn’t try the bidet setting because I’m just leery of it, being the true American that I am. As much as I like France, that’s one thing that baffles me. In Paris this last time our hotel room had a bidet in a bathroom with a sink and bathtub/shower but no toilet, we looked around and sure enough there was another door to a small room with a toilet and a small sink, one would have thought the bidet would have been in that second room and the toilet in the same room as the bathtub/shower, but no this was Paris. This hotel was one that Hemingway had lived in and Benjamin Franklin had stayed way back when. It was actually very charming.

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  12. Deborah said on December 22, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    LB was surprised that I didn’t tell you that we’re in the midst of cookie baking, but in light of our general comment thread here it didn’t seem appropriate.

    But to make LB happy, I’ll tell you that we’re making peanut butter blossoms with dark chocolate kisses and toffee bars with dark chocolate spread over them too, those will have chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. We prefer that to milk chocolate. I will say Julie that I balked at your suggestion of frozen kisses pressed into the peanut butter cookie base, but now that I see how much our kisses melted because they weren’t frozen. Lesson learned, next time we’ll freeze them.

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  13. Nancy F said on December 22, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    I installed an aftermarket Luxe bidet attachment in April 2020, and I haven’t had to buy TP since then. Because here’s the thing: washcloths do an excellent job of drying your clean-as-a-whistle nether regions, and they’re washable. You wouldn’t dry yourself with TP after a shower, would you? Of course not. P.S. I wrote about Tushy’s execrable puns for the Strong Language blog, and knew it wasn’t the brand for me.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on December 23, 2022 at 12:23 am

    The few times I’ve been to Europe, I’ve never had the nerve to try a bidet. Just…nah.

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  15. Dexter Friend said on December 23, 2022 at 2:40 am

    Today’s post reminds me of passages from Kerouac’s “Big Sur”, the most depressing book ever. Jack always took a can of water with him when he had to go, and washed his “azzhole” with it. That may have been how he had to spell it to get past the editors. Following is an internet grab from a lazy contributor who also recalled it:
    ” …it was like maybe an Indian person who, when he went to the toilet, would wipe his butt with a rag with soap and water. You know, clean his butt out really well. And this impressed Kerouac. And Kerouac started doing this himself. And here’s the good part. Kerouac in his book said, All those middle-class people out there think that me and my beatnik pals are just a bunch of unwashed people. But I have a much cleaner azzhole than they do. They’re all walking around with a dirty azzhole. He spelled it–I’ll never forget–he spelled it a-z-z-h-o-l-e . Azzhole. Maybe that was because of the censors at the time or maybe that’s just how he pronounced it or something. But he went on for pages about this, you know, about how it was that all these people who were putting him down were walking around all the time in their nice suits and dresses and everything with dirty azzholes. And he took great satisfaction in the fact that this was not the case with him.”

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  16. Alan Stamm said on December 23, 2022 at 9:10 am

    This Washington news obsessive skimmed transcripts of Cassidy Hutchinson’s full testimony and was rewarded with an account of Mark Meadows trying to comfort her the night of Jan. 6 by saying: “Hey, at least he didn’t try to choke you to death” (a too-soon “quip” about presidential throat-grabbing).

    In another gem, she responds to a Liz Cheney question about “water cooler chatter” among Secret Service agents about Trump’s rage at his detail’s leader.

    “I’m cautious because I worry that … if I say ‘water cooler chatter’ there’s going to be someone that will come out and criticize me and say that there were no water coolers in the West Sing so I don’t know what I’m talking about.”
    “But generally speaking, yes, that is what I would categorize it as.”

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  17. alex said on December 23, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Heard from a Chicago friend this morning whose furnace just quit again after failing a month ago at which time it needed expensive repairs that took four days of waiting.

    It’s humbling. Makes me feel a lot less ticked off that the same dental crown I had re-cemented on Wednesday just fell off again this morning.

    Good news today about the missing child Dorothy mentioned upthread, so there’s that.

    Re: Dex’ musings on Kerouac, I had a friend who toured India and to hear him tell it, you never want to shake someone’s left hand if they extend it in greeting you because that’s the standard butt-wiping hand in a country where toilets are a hole in the ground and facilities offer no paper, soap or running water.

    Azzhole, now that doesn’t surprise me. I had a college lit class on books that skirted censorship such as The Sound and the Fury, Naked Lunch and Ulysses and it wasn’t until 1961 that the Supreme Court ruled that literature was protected by the First Amendment.

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  18. ROGirl said on December 23, 2022 at 9:48 am

    It’s fitting that tush cleaning is being discussed while the 1/6 commission’s report is being released.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on December 23, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Okay, I’m going to (attempt) to change the subject. Everyone knows the story of The Christmas Carol, but is it because you read it, or watched one of the approximately ten million filmed versions?

    I ask because we went to Dickens by Candlelight last night, a three-person version, with costumes and music. They became all the characters aided only by a hat here or a coat there, and their own voices and body movements. Cookies and tea served out of teapots covered in tea cozies, and singing Christmas carols before and after, were also part of the experience, so it was right in our sweet spot.

    Afterward I asked our table of eight how many had read the book. Only one had. I truly can’t remember if I have; I’ve read several Dickens but I may just know this story the way most people do.

    So, have you read A Christmas Carol? Back up question for those who haven’t, do you have a favorite filmed version? One person said Lionel Barrymore, which was on the radio. One said Mickey’s Christmas Carol, probably the first one they saw as a kid. I’m partial to the Alan Mencken musical version, shocker.

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  20. alex said on December 23, 2022 at 11:01 am

    Julie, I can’t say I’ve ever read it. As best as I can recall, I was introduced to it via a kiddified picture book as a toddler, then maybe some cartoon versions or old movies. I seem to have confused it with Oliver Twist since both are Dickens tales that have been retold a bazillion times in all manner of media.

    Just looked out the window and noticed we have a squirrel high-rise going on in a pine tree. There are two fat ones perched on parallel branches facing east with their butts scrunched up against the trunk, apparently taking cover from the wind. They ordinarily have nests high up in the trees but perhaps don’t feel safe there during this weather event.

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  21. Suzanne said on December 23, 2022 at 11:32 am

    Yes, I have read A Christmas Carol although I can’t recall when.

    Today, with raging winds & horrible cold, I am thankful we still have power & thankful that I am still alive to dislike the weather.

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  22. Heather said on December 23, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Sorry Julie, I gotta weigh in on the bidet thing. I was intrigued by the heated toilet seat option since I need a new seat, but not for $600! I am thinking about the warm-water version though. Maybe a birthday present to myself next month. Fitting as I head further into my increasingly gastro-intestinally challenged 50s.

    I tried to watch Spirited, the new musical version of A Christmas Carol with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, and lasted about 10 minutes. Tonight I think I’m going to have my annual holiday viewing of Love, Actually. I skip through some of the more boring stories, like Colin Firth’s. Even Mr. Darcy can’t save that one.

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  23. Deborah said on December 23, 2022 at 11:59 am

    I read Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, and in 8th grade we had to read Great Expectations but I have no memory of reading A Christmas Carol. My favorite movie version is the first one I saw and I have no idea who was in it, saw it on black and white TV when I was a kid, I don’t remember what age I was.

    Regarding the other topic, I remember reading years ago a column by Andrew Sullivan (I know, I know) who described a Flawless Victory. I’ll leave it at that.

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  24. David C said on December 23, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    I read it last week. I couldn’t remember if I had or hadn’t so I got it out of the library. After reading it, I’m more of a fan of Fred and this is my favorite passage:

    “I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

    My favorite film version is the Reginald Owen version from the ’30s. Black and white suits it well.

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  25. LAMary said on December 23, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Nothing fabulous or luxurious here. It is going to be 80 degrees on Christmas day, though. There’s that.

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  26. Jeff Gill said on December 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    The whole book; more of a novella, it won’t take too long to read and is well worth it.

    And the classic 1938 film with Reginald Owen’s indelible Scrooge:

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  27. Jeff Gill said on December 23, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    The full version in five links at the top, starting with (as Dickens put it) Stave 1:

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  28. ROGirl said on December 23, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    I never read it, but the cartoon version with Mr. Magoo as Scrooge was on TV every year, the stop-action Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, too.

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  29. Sherri said on December 23, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    It’s going to be 50 degrees and rainy here on Christmas Day, which will be an improvement over the ice storm we woke up to this morning. The leftover snow from earlier this week is now coated in a sheet of ice. Fortunately, we haven’t lost power, and it’s supposed to finally get above freezing later today.

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  30. tajalli said on December 23, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Just the bathroom basics here, using the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) as usual. It’s so easy to forget how we USAians compare to the rest of the world.

    Temps have been running low-mid 50s during the day and 40 at night. We’ll be getting Sherri’s precipitation starting Monday night, lasting about 4-5 days. When I start to feel sorry for myself being cold, I just read you guys’ temps and gratitude kicks in.

    I read Dicken’s A Christmas Carol in high school along with all the obligatory English and American literature oldies as well as watching various versions on TV – never seem to remember actors names though.

    I usually prefer reading to watching the movie versions of books, with only a few exceptions such as Cloud Atlas, which conveyed the book quite well, although it didn’t follow the timeline device of the book.

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  31. Dexter Friend said on December 23, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    Staying calm here as we are stuck at nearly 0F degrees, thankful I didn’t get caught in the I-69 stoppage that Dave K. messaged me about. Pogo Labbie was good, the cold hurt her paws and she quickly did her thing and came right back inside. She is a great dog. With plenty of supplies on hand, I don’t need to go anywhere in the vans, so I won’t. Tonight, pulled pork and a baked potato and cole slaw, winter slaw. Hot coffee instead of soda tonight. Furnace, she’s a-burnin’…all is well right now.
    Goddam it’s cold.

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  32. Deborah said on December 23, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    38° high in Santa Fe today, tomorrow’s will be 47°. Christmas Day will be similar. It is warmer than usual for this time of year. It’s a little windy now so feels colder. We have a toasty fire going. I’ve been sluggish all day, but glad to have nothing to do, especially not having to go to the grocery store because it’s a nightmare about now. We have all the fixing for our Christmas Eve dinner which is our tradition.

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  33. Dorothy said on December 23, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    Oh Heather. The writer’s story that Colin Firth has in Love, Actually is my husband’s and my favorite. They share no language but the attraction between them wins out. When he goes to the restaurant to propose to her, we both cry. Have seen it probably 37 times but that’s what we love. Emma Thompson’s scene when she gets the Joni Mitchell cd instead jewelry always makes me cry, too.

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  34. Mark P said on December 23, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    Here in NW Georgia it was 10F last night and it never got over about 17F during the day Friday. It’s Friday night and 8F right now. It was in the upper 40’s most of the day Thursday. I built a fire in our little wood-burning stove Thursday afternoon and kept the temperature in the living room at 73-74F overnight. I put in a blower and an insulated duct from over the stove to our bedroom in the other end of the house during construction. It kept the bedroom around 70F all night. But the steady cold and wind has been sucking heat out of the house all day and I’m having trouble getting the bedroom over 69F. My wife thinks it is cold, but never met a blanket she liked, so I’m stoking the fire. Hopefully it will only take one reload during the night to keep the temperature up. Our older dog, a Boxer-Husky mix, thought it was just right when he went out for his morning constitutional. At these temperatures, I prefer indoors.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on December 23, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    Love, Actually was not my thing when I saw it but maybe I need to give it another chance.

    President Obama came out with his end of the year lists. I read one of the books, Michelle’s, listened to none of the music, and saw zero of the movies. Welp.

    David, Fred is my favorite character and to me he represents the quintessential Englishman. He’s a little simple, doesn’t overthink, but so good natured you have to love him. You just know he would natter on about his garden if you gave him the chance.

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  36. David C said on December 24, 2022 at 6:16 am

    I go through my morning reading today and find Charlie Pierce is a fan of Fred too, Julie. He’s smarter than me though and connected it up with President Zelenskyy’s speech when he spoke about how Ukrainians will celebrate Christmas.

    Our temperature here is finally above 0° F. Our high today is supposed to be 3° and continuing wind that will cut you in two. I only went out yesterday to fill the bird feeders and bird bath. I have a newfound respect for birds. They were out feeding all day. I didn’t see a squirrel all day. Wimpy buggers.

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  37. basset said on December 24, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Seven degrees in Nashville right now, and rolling blackouts every two hours or so. If we’d stuck to our original plan of driving to Michigan on Thursday and Friday, though, we’d probably still be in the ditch somewhere, and frozen too. Our wired net service to the house gave out yesterday, best Xfinity can do for us is to say that happens sometimes in really cold weather and someone can come by to look at it on Wednesday.

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  38. Dorothy said on December 24, 2022 at 9:18 am

    The only time my son and I were in the same play was when we did a stage version of an unusual version of A Christmas Carol. Dickens was supposedly writing the book in the attic of his house, and his family interact with him and they celebrate Christmas together, etc. A fun show because Josh played the young Charles Dickens. We were never on stage together at the same time but we were at rehearsals together.

    One scene had us all about to have a little dance, and there were 2-3 children on stage too. Little red headed Whitney was supposed to walk backwards, sit on a trunk, and watch the adults do a dance. Well, the stage techs forgot to close the trunk and Whitney, in her beautiful blue dress and bloomers underneath, sunk right into the open trunk. Her legs stuck up in the air, and she didn’t get hurt, but boy was she surprised. And those of us around the trunk looked just as surprised as she did but had to hurry up and help her stand, close the trunk, then launch into our little dance. And as we actors exchanged looks we all were DYING to burst out laughing, but we had to stay in character. Once the dance was over and we went off stage we muffled our laughs as much as we could but I think our faces were purple, stifling all that laughter. It will always be one of my very favorite memories of doing community theater!

    Merry Christmas to all, Happy Hanukkah to all, stay warm everyone, and I hope you all have peace and love around you this week and in the new year to come.

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  39. Deborah said on December 24, 2022 at 9:46 am

    Happy Christmas Eve to all who celebrate! Today is our celebration day and evening. LB is making Cornish hens and other goodies for our meal, then we open gifts and sit around the fire. Sometimes LB has friends over but this time it’s just us.

    LB had her favorite pooch over to dog sit yesterday and last night. It turns out my husband is allergic to the dog. We had no idea. And LB is scheduled to have the dog for almost 2 weeks after Christmas, so now she’s having to ask the owners if she can do the dog sit at their place. We will be in Abiquiu much of that time, but we do come back to Santa Fe periodically. It’s obviously way too late for the owners to find someone else, so we’re going to have to figure this all out soon.

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  40. Dorothy said on December 24, 2022 at 11:07 am

    Deborah could you husband take some allergy meds while he’s there? Our daughter-in-law sneezes around Nestle. When they’d visit our house in Dayton, she’d take some generic allergy meds that we kept in a kitchen closet. She could not do that while pregnant. She’s allergic to most dogs, which makes her sad because she loves dogs. She only became allergic at around the age of 23, I think. She had to give up her dog and let her parents have it. They want to get a dog when the baby is older, but they’ll research the best kind to get for people with allergies.

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  41. Deborah said on December 24, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Thank goodness the dog owners have agreed for LB to do the dog sit there. My husband hates to take meds of any kind. He has to take statins because of his age which drives him crazy, he has no medical problem that means he should take them, but because of statistics all men over 70 should be taking them according to his Doctor. Some allergy meds make him drowsy, and some make it hard for him to sleep even if he takes it in the morning. He does use a nasal spray, that seems to help some.

    The dog is a little cutie, he makes it fun around here, he’s a French bulldog and Boston terrier mix, I think, his name is Jacque.

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  42. David C said on December 24, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    We found out this morning that one of our nieces died sometime late last week. She struggled with addiction for years and my mother-in-law said it was an intentional overdose. If you’re vulnerable, this time of the year can be a literal killer. Watch out for everybody. You just never know.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on December 24, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    David, that’s really hard and I’m so sorry for everyone. My mom is one of those people; her beloved grandfather died on Christmas day when she was eight, she’s a depressive anyway, the shortening of the days, and this year it’s cold. Nothing helps and she’s an emotional vampire. I encourage her to remember grandpa, remember other loved ones, find her favorite music and movies, make her favorite foods, and still, she pulls me into her downward spiral. Ugh.

    On a brighter note, the Pierce essay was wonderful and he even referenced Tom Lehrer’s Vatican Rag, always a pleasure.

    Here’s what Zelinsky said: “We’ll celebrate Christmas. Celebrate Christmas and, even if there is no electricity, the light of our faith in ourselves will not be put out. If Russian — if Russian missiles attack us, we’ll do our best to protect ourselves. If they attack us with Iranian drones and our people will have to go to bomb shelters on Christmas Eve, Ukrainians will still sit down at the holiday table and cheer up each other. And we don’t, don’t have to know everyone’s wish, as we know that all of us, millions of Ukrainians, wish the same: Victory. Only victory.”

    Good words; strong words. And Bless us all, everyone.

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  44. Deborah said on December 24, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    I found this on today I don’t know if you have to have an account to see it, almost worth getting one so you can.

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  45. Deborah said on December 24, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    so my husband said he felt bad about LB having to be away from home during the holidays so he wants her to have the dog at her place instead of the owners place. We’ll just spend more time at the cabin which is fine with me. So that’s settled.

    I’ve been reading about the sad Christmases in Ukraine. It is heartbreaking. The Russians bombed Kherson today, what monsters.

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  46. LAMary said on December 24, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    I’m a terrible person. I never understood the appeal of Love Actually. I saw in a theatre; gave it another chance on television. It never took.

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  47. basset said on December 24, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Still making our way through the “Parks & Recreation” dvd set, somehow missed that show when I was working in city planning.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on December 24, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Mary, I thought it was just me! We even got a DVD of it for Christmas and I returned it for store credit. I should try again.

    Deborah, we need a jacket like the Post one for my mom. The heat is so high the rest of us are sweating, and she’s still cold. I told her to try moving around but she’s not big on the concept.

    Has your husband tried Allegra or Xyzal? Claritin and Zytec made me feel drugged, but those two are much better.

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  49. Deborah said on December 24, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    I watched Love Actually once, I don’t remember much about it, so it wasn’t memorable for me. I don’t remember liking it or not liking it.

    Julie, he has tried about everything over the years.

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  50. LAMary said on December 24, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Although it’s going to be hot here tomorrow, it was in the thirties at night and not much above 50 in the daytime just a couple of weeks ago. I know that brings snorts and chuckles from you colder climate people but I’ve lived in NY, NJ and CO, so I know what cold is but my heating system and my insulation in this old house are not what you would have in those cold places. What I found keeps me nice and warm is a fleece lined hoodie. Since I’m tall I buy a men’s hoodie. I think it was something like 15 bucks on Amazon. Sitting all day at my desk on the ground floor of a chilly house I found the hoodie and a little space heater aimed at my lower half kept me warm. Get your mama a fleece lined hoodie, Julie. Trust me on this.

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  51. Heather said on December 24, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    I don’t think Love, Actually is a great movie and certainly a lot of it hasn’t aged well (lots of fat shaming and transphobia). But there’s something about it, what can I say.

    Just came back from a brisk Christmas Eve walk with my boyfriend, who’s been down with Covid for about 10 days. He’s still testing positive, unfortunately, but feeling a lot better. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. He was really bummed not to get home to see his family and is hoping to be able to fly out on Monday.

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  52. Mark P said on December 24, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    It was 5F and windy here Friday night. Our cute little wood-burning stove reached its limits. I kept it fed all night long, but I couldn’t get the temperature in our bedroom over around 67F, too cool for my wife. If we had this kind of weather a lot in the winter, I would need a bigger stove and probably four times as much firewood. We are really burning through it.

    The steroidal allergy nose sprays have been a lifesaver for me. I can’t take decongestants, but my first spray of Flonase was a revelation. I got immediate relief from runny nose, sneezing and congestion. I know I sound like a commercial, but it worked that well for me. They are less effective now, around 10 or more years since I started using them, but they continue to work well enough. I was a little worried about using a steroid that much, but my allergies are not usually bad enough to use the nose spray for an extended period.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on December 25, 2022 at 12:19 am

    Christmas has arrived and finds me contented, as I thawed the frozen water lines to the shower. I got a deal on the hair dryer I needed, just $15.95. I spent a goodly amount of time on the telephone with family. I was invited to drive to Findlay for Christmas dinner but it’s still going to be frigid and I am too old to possibly get stranded on I-75 or have a flat tire. Better here safe and alone than possibly frozen out in der hinterland.

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  54. Jerry said on December 25, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Merry Christmas to you all. And I hope those of you suffering the extreme weather come through it all safely and in comfort.

    Here in London the temperature is a comfortable 50. We’re celebrating Christmas Day tomorrow as one our sons is working today and won’t be able to join us until evening. We’ve just watched My Neighbour Totoro again on Netflix – our youngest son had never seen it – and loved it again.

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  55. Deborah said on December 25, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. We’re off for a few days at the cabin.

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  56. Peter said on December 25, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    A very happy holiday to all of you on this site.

    Here’s a Christmas story for you – I was running around before the snow bomb hit, and one of the items was to put wreaths on my parent’s and in-law’s graves at the cemetery. Of course I should have done it earlier, but I took a mallet and was able to get those wreath stands into the ground. Only problem was by the time I was done the circular wreaths now looked heart shaped.

    Last night my sister said she and the kids went to the cemetery and they had tears in their eyes because of the cute heart shaped wreaths I installed. Yes, I said, I had to pay extra for them, but weren’t they worth it?

    Deborah, the Walgreen’s generic equivalent to Claritin D is what your husband needs to coexist with that dandruff generator.

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  57. Dexter Friend said on December 26, 2022 at 2:19 am

    Fleece lined hoodies are all I need to keep from feeling cold in this old house. It’s down to 9F again. I have on a light old beat sweatshirt for an undershirt, a thick newer sweatshirt, and this fleece lined hoodie, and am wearing a Carhartt stocking cap which now are called beanies, which seems wrong as a beanie is what Spanky wore, like a yarmulke with a propeller atop. I had to jack up the thermostat to 74 as 72 didn’t cut it as I was watching some stupid TV. I usually cut it to 66F when I retire but with this constant super-freeze it stays at 68 overnight, and one night when it hovered near minus 6F it ran at 70 all night.

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  58. Icarus said on December 26, 2022 at 10:14 am

    happy holidays to all…

    Earlier in the thread there was talk of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol “ and its various adaptations. Watched Spirited yesterday and it was amazing. Highly recommend.

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  59. LAMary said on December 26, 2022 at 11:33 am

    We were going to gather at younger son’s (previously known as Pete the roadie) house but he tested positive for Covid yesterday morning. It’s been a complicated week of Pete related planning. First he called me Monday morning to tell me he and Ruby, his girlfriend from China who recently arrived in the US, fiancee visa having been successfully obtained, were going to get a marriage license. He called from his car to tell me this and that they were going to buy rings.I offered to let him select from the unused grandmother, great grandmother, maybe great great grandmother colection of modest engagement rings I’ve been endowed with. He told me Ruby was testing positive so they were not going to come to my house to select one, although they appreciated the offer. I took pics with my camera of the nicest rings and they chose a pretty platinum ring with a small but good quality diamond and small but very nice sapphire baguettes on each side. A fully masked pick up was arranged. The wedding at city hall was arrnged for Wednesday. I ordered a bottle of prosecco and some lambchops (two favorites of Pete’s) from Costco Instacart.
    I usually make plans for my sons and their significant others to come to my home for Christmas dinner but since the ex has moved to Malibu with his girlfriend he likes to tell the boys they will be with him on Christmas at the last minute. This year I assumed this would be the case again. But of course it wasn’t. At the last minute on the 24th the ex cancelled. He said he didn’t want to be around the fiancee even though she was now testing negative. A plan b was set up for all of us (both sons, girlfriends, one girlfriend’s mother) to meet at Pete’s house for the consumption of the lamb chops, the prosecco, and other contributions of food and wine from attendees. I had everything packed up, a pie made, gifts wrapped everything coordinated when Pete called Christmas morning to say he was now testing positive. Sigh. So plan c was to have pie, coffee and fruit in the park near my house with one son, his girlfriend and her mother and reschedule with Pete for the weekend if he was testing negative and feeling fine. It turned out to be very nice. I gave son Tom’s girlfriend a leather covered journal and some pens. She gave me a leather covered journal and drawing pencils. I gave son Tom some sandalwood soap and a sketchbook. He gave me lavender soap and lotion. We all gave each other throw blankets. I think my ex failed to fuck up my Christmas this year and that all of us realized that we share the same tastes in simple luxuries, none of them very Malibu-ish. Unless the ex decides on a last minute command visit from the offspring or Pete is still tesing positive this weekend we’re doing the lamb chop and prosecco feast on Friday or Saturday.

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  60. Suzanne said on December 26, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    It must be the year for Christmas plans to evaporate. My husband’s mother and brother-in-law both COVID positive shortly before Christmas so scratch visiting with any of them. My niece & nephew were supposed to come visit from out of town but the niece’s flight was canceled and they couldn’t get it rescheduled in a time frame that allowed her (teacher) and their son to get back in time for school to resume. My nephew’s wife’s grandfather died yesterday, so they can’t come. it was a far cry from the previous years when we’d zoom from one relative’s house to the next, wondering if we’d make it on time and watching kids have meltdowns. We at least made it to my mom’s for a few hours for which I was thankful.

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  61. Julie Robinson said on December 26, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Covid, RSV, Flu, Strep, and some mystery illness are what I was hearing about too but none of them got us this year. Gatherings with family and friends were low-key and enjoyable. All the extra events and services at church went off successfully and today, except for washing the sheets that spent three days draped over tender plants, I’ve been reading a book. In bed. A nap may have ocurred.

    Mary, you are the queen of making lemonade out of lemons so flexible you must be able to touch the ground when you bend over backwards. I’m not clear if Pete and Ruby are married yet but I wish them every happiness.

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  62. Deborah said on December 26, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    It’s not windy today but apparently this past Thursday night there was an incident on the next Mesa over from us where a neighbor had a carport lift off, spin around crash back down, destroying 2 of their cars and then blowing off down the canyon and getting hung up on a juniper tree. When we drove onto our land yesterday we noticed something had happened over there but it was unclear exactly what. Today I had to go to the local general store and get a few things and saw one of the guys who lives there (they’re an older gay couple). He told me the story and said they had clocked 70 to 80mph wind gusts. This terrifies us because when My husband was designing our cabin he had the design checked out by a structural engineer and he said our cabin could withstand 90mph gusts which from research it didn’t seem like that would ever happen, gusts were never recorded more than 45mph in a hundred years of recording. Now here we are because of climate change the wind patterns in the southwest have changed drastically in a short amount of time. We think now that it’s the wind that’s going to get us before the drought. What’s weird is that at our cabin we only noticed yesterday that some rocking chairs we have up on our outside landing before you get up to our roof deck had tipped over, but some teak lounge chairs on the roof. deck were fine. So the wind pinpointed our neighbor’s exact carport area, not their house or their large detached garage which has 18 vintage cars in it (they’re vintage car collectors). The mountains around us make weird wind shears and odd wind devils (kind of mini-tornados) but nothing so far like what happened to our neighbors, that anyone around here has reported to us before.

    We’re going to contact our structural engineer to see what we might need to do to buttress our cabin from the wind especially when we’re back in Chicago for months at a time.

    The local general store that I went to today is called Bodes, Jeff, formally tmmo will know it. It’s been around for maybe 100 years (or close to that) . It’s actually kind of famous, it’s been in books (Tony Hillerman) and movies. It sells everything from hardware, hunting and fishing equipment, groceries and gifts. It used to have up until recently a cafe that served mostly burritos, which we’re supposedly world famous (debatable). Over the years that we have been coming to Abiquiu (over 30 years total of coming here, we bought our land here in 2000 and our cabin was finished in 2016) Bode’s has become less of a general store and more of a convenience store/ tourist trap unfortunately. You can get a bumper sticker that says “I whizzed at Bodes” because it was one of the few places around that had a public bathroom and if you were traveling or camping it came in handy. I see the bumper sticker on cars all around even in other states.

    Edit: I wrote the above to my niece today and instead of rewriting everything here I just copied and pasted it, deleting and adding a few things. So some of this is repetitive, I’ve written some of it here before, but not the neighbor’s carport part. Sorry about the repetition but I’m lazy.

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  63. Sherri said on December 26, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    I came down with some virus on Christmas Day, so stayed home while the rest of my family gathered with friends. Nothing serious, just a bit of a sore throat and a headache. I don’t feel bad when I’m in bed, but when I get up and try to do anything, my head starts pounding. Covid test is negative, no fever, so I’m just doing rest and fluids.

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  64. Deborah said on December 26, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    We found out that my husband’s brother who lives north of Seattle has Covid, with a fever of 102. He was very asthmatic as a kid and into adulthood so I hope he’s ok. He’s fully vaxxed and reports from his wife say except for the fever he’s ok and was hoping to be able to get a tele-health session with is Dr for medication. Aside from my B-I-L no other relatives or friends that we know personally are currently suffering from Covid.

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  65. Joe Kobiela said on December 26, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Christmas Day was spent with daughter #1 at her in-laws daughter #2 driving down from Milwaukee and myself flying 3 very nice people to DuPage to spend Christmas with their family, Christmas dinner was pancakes at I Hop, brother and sister in law plus both kids and spouse here today, a very nice low key celebration.
    Pilot Joe

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  66. Mark P said on December 26, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    My wife and I just got back from IHOP. I had the blueberry pancakes, which I have enjoyed before. This time they were inedible. I tried the “protein” pancakes, which were a travesty. The supposedly free blueberry compote was gross, not at all like previous experiences. And, they had the gall to charge for that crap compote, which they had never done before. The menu says they come with the compote, with no mention of an extra charge. I suspect the compote was not actually compote, but frozen blueberries drenched in their fake blueberry syrup. We are not likely to go to IHOP again.

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  67. Jeff Gill said on December 26, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Too many formerly funky places have become tourist traps; the fun is finding the spots that are still themselves. But I’d go back to Bode’s just on general principle. Happy New Year, Deborah!

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  68. Deborah said on December 27, 2022 at 4:07 am

    We got word that my husband’s brother’s wife now has Covid too, not surprising. What’s notable is when they were in Chicago over Thanksgiving they told us they were astonished that they seemed to be the only ones they knew who hadn’t gotten it yet. So they’ve joined the club, but seem ok.

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  69. basset said on December 27, 2022 at 9:01 am

    We had planned to drive from Nashville to Michigan late last week to visit Mrs. B’s family. Weather put departure back a day, then another. One of her relatives was due to come out of covid isolation the day we got there but tested positive again, then another did, then another, three out of three on who we were going to see and we finally just called the whole trip off. Gifts are boxed up and ready to go, though.

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  70. alex said on December 27, 2022 at 9:31 am

    As long as we’re doing a hatchet job on IHOP, check out this story:

    Looks like he must have gotten some of that compote on his face.

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  71. LAMary said on December 27, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Ruby and Pete are indeed married. They were married on the 21st, which will be easy to remember if you slightly alter an Earth, Wind and Fire song.
    Pete’s still testing positive as of last night. I’m poised, ready for whatever Cruyf turns I may need to make today. I’m considering making some shortbread and maybe a peach pie with cardamom today. Maybe toss in some of the pistachios I’ve got leftover from the cranberry pistachio cookies. It’s all good. I sorta hate my current job and I’m loving the week off but I think I need to find another job. Cold calling 10 hours a day sucks so much.

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  72. FDChief said on December 31, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    Out about the West Side on NYE running errands (for those unfamiliar with Little Beirut the West (aka the Tualatin Valley) is Portland’s San Fernando Valley; mile after mile of subdivisions and strip malls) and stopped by the Beaverton Uwajimaya to hunt up Asian snacks the Girl craves to be met with utter pandemonium, including tents in the parking lot selling sweet pancakes and o-mamori amulets from the Nichirin temple. Wow. Who knew?

    Getting a laugh out of the whole “OMFG Tubby’s Taxes!” thing. Turns out he’s a sleazy tax cheat who relied on dodges and creative accounting to hide the sort of business savvy that could make one million from two! Whoodathunkit? And he lied about donating his pay? Wow! Sure didn’t see that one coming!

    And absolutely none of this will matter a whit to Republicans. He’s a sack of anger and hate braying the bile they wish they could force people outside their families to pay attention to, and they love him for that.

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