Yup

Why is it that every night at work is a bad night?  I spent most of the night trying not to cry tears of frustration.  I run in circles, accomplishing nothing.  The computers AND the machines were out to get me tonight.  And as much as I hate to admit it, they won.  I actually stayed over to help catch up on another department’s work that our shift didn’t get to for the mere fact that I needed to calm down before I went home and exploded.  I can’t keep doing this.  I never smile anymore.  My blood pressure is through the roof.  I’m going to age prematurely at this rate, unless my adrenal gland detonates with all the F bombs.  Seriously, I never swear — it’s just at my job.  I even scaled back my schedule – working 5 days a week instead of 4 (less hours/day).  Today is Day #1 and already I can tell it’s not going to work too well either.

I haven’t even shot the picture for our annual Christmas card yet.  I plan to do that tomorrow.  I feel so far behind.

Having my family here was awesome — like all gatherings of my immediate family, there were a few skirmishes, but nothing terrible.  My Dad always finds a reason to re-wire a room in my house when he’s here and this time it was the kitchen.  He fixed our 3 way switch after much sighing and berating my husband for his lack of electrical knowledge (long story short: we switched out the switches in the kitchen for color reasons and they hadn’t worked right since.  Turns out we had the wrong kind of switch, it wasn’t The General’s fault [pun unintended]).  Meh.  We’re medical people and this concept seemed to evade my dad.  My mom fell on the stairs at the beach and hurt her knee quite badly, we’re thinking it’s a sprain, so she was laid up for the last day.

It’s no secret that my parents’ marriage is quite austere, to the point where it could be placed in the abusive/neglect category.  Like a Windows default, I’m programmed to stay silent during the verbal spars, as all through childhood.  I prayed when they came, if it became an abusive situation, that I would have the strength to say “STOP!”  There was only 1 conversation that was going down the road of verbal attack and I thank God He gave me words and actions.  I actually raised my voice to my father.  He got the message and stopped.  We changed the subject and all was well.  Hmph!  I will not take the kind of language in my house, especially towards someone I love.

Outside of that, it was a wonderful experience.

They spoiled us rotten.  My mom and I went to pick up a “few items” at the ABC store (it’s where us North Carolinians get hard liquor) and we bought out the liquor store.  I told my mom I actually want to remember this Thanksgiving — because we were going to float away with all the wine and spirits.  She was too kind.  And despite my alcohol fast (she didn’t know) and the amount we had, I was never drunk at any point.  My dad went to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Auto Zone to get stuff for my car and the house — again, spoiled beyond measure.  They picked up the tab when we went out, too.

My sister and her boyfriend were fun.  I haven’t spent days together with my sister in years so it was interesting to observe.  I didn’t feel much of a connection with her.  She suffers from severe bi-polar disorder.  She’s on a lot of meds (like a lot a lot), but the disease is ever present.  She was up.  She was down.  She was wired, she was sound asleep on the couch.  My sister is slightly immature on top of it, but smart as a whip.  Smarter than me: she did better in college than I did.  Her boyfriend was cool to hang out with.  He’s so even keeled – I showed him how to play Rumikube and he won.  It was interesting to watch them interact.  He’s got her number and knows how to reel her in.  He’s good for her.  She’s good for him.  They’re going to make beautiful babies someday.

You know the psychology stuff about you marry a version of your father?  Well, I turned that notion on it’s head.  I married my sister.  If you take the bi-polar away, my sister and The General are cut from the same cloth.  And it’s kinda freaky.

Our family adventures included walking around downtown Wilmington, walking on the pier at Carolina Beach, the rocks at Federal Point (my sis is obsessed with hermit crabs and was very amused by the ugly wild ones!), and the rocks at Fort Fisher.  I took a picture of everyone on the rocks and it looks like they were posing for an album cover.  Hilarious.  I would post it, but I can’t blur out everyone’s faces enough without losing the continuity of the picture.  We also hit up Enchanted Airlie at Airlie Gardens.  If you are in the Wilmington area, you have to check it out.  It’s so beautiful and we had a great time.

Oh!  I almost forgot the Turkey Day part!  Phenomenal.  Mom did not disappoint with the stuffing and grasshopper pie.  I brought the German roots by making a spaetzle casserole.   The General made the turkey and everyone raved about how moist and yummy it was.  Pat and Kris showed up with enough food to feed everyone for a few days.  I prayed a short prayer before dinner.  There was silence for about 5 minutes as we were all way too into the feast for conversation.  We watched the movies Fix and Zombieland.  It’s tradition: you watch movies completely inappropriate for the holidays.  Drug addiction and zombies – how more un-turkey can one get?

Overall?  It was awesome.  I loved having a houseful.  It’s kinda weird now that everyone left.  And I ate the last piece of stuffing today.  I need my mom back to make another pan of it.  And to polish off some left over wine while we make it.

I never felt the tug to stay on my alcohol fast — and while I don’t have the answers, I know who does.  And I am His.  And what will happen will happen.  And it will be for the glory of Him.  However it’s all suppose to turn out.

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