“You Can Call Me ‘Batman'”

You never know what you’re going see when hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Beautiful rock formations,

felled trees gathering moss …

… or lichens.

You might even meet a small boy in a Santa hat going to his friend’s birthday party at the Octagon Shelter (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression).

When I admired his attire, his mother prompted him to say thank you, which he did.

His next words, however, required no prompting.

“You can call me ‘Batman,'” he said.

When I answered that I’d be sure to do so, he then informed me he had a cousin called “Superman.”

I couldn’t help laughing as his mom rolled her eyes and mentioned what he really had was an imagination.

It had been a while since The Engineer and I took a winter hike, and today it felt good to be in the woods. We took the opportunity because I decided to have a day off from visiting Mom after having quite the Christmas celebration with her yesterday.

Since we won’t be around on the day, Darling Daughter and Partner, my Big Brother and Nephew, and The Engineer and I took pizza, pistachio panettone, and presents to party with Mom. (Sorry, I got caught up in all that alliteration and just couldn’t stop myself!)

We also took sheet pizzas, cookies and other goodies for the nursing home staff. They work so hard to make Mom’s life easier and more comfortable, and we thought they’d enjoy a little treat.

It was such a good day and felt great to see Mom enjoy herself (along with the rest of us).

Afterwards, Darling Daughter and Partner drove to our house for an evening of lasagna, gift exchanging, and Scrabble.

In recent years, we have been pulling back on gifts, with socks and chocolate featuring quite heavily in the lineup. This results in us being able to use and/or consume these tokens of affection, and I find myself enjoying the season more as a result.

We also watched England lose to France in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, but the less said about that, the better. ;-%

Christmas Is Made, Not Bought

For those of us who don’t live in the United Kingdom, Christmas advertisements usually focus on all the many things available for us to buy, buy, buy. This generally isn’t an issue in our house because we rarely watch actual television, instead depending on library DVDs and streaming services for much of our entertainment (except English Premier League, which is sadly unavailable through these sources).

However, this year, it’s the Men’s World Cup, so we have seen more commercials than usual, and I’ll admit I like the ones that focus on the Beautiful Game. Others, not so much, and in particular the one that argues that “Less is not more; More is more,” or something to that effect.

With this in mind, I did my yearly search for the “best Christmas adverts.”

I found this, which it’s only fair to warn you, will bring tears to your eyes.

If you’d like to check out a few more UK ads, go here. Obviously not all of them are of the same caliber, but I believe you may find a few new favorites.

And, as has become my yearly tradition, I feel compelled to share the best Christmas song ever. Just in case you live under a rock and have never heard the exquisite harmonizing of David Bowie and Bing Crosby in this extraordinarily improbable duet, here it is again. Unfortunately, WordPress or YouTube, or maybe both, won’t let me embed this one, so you’ll have to click on the link.

Since life seems to have gotten away from me since Mom fell, and I’ve been out of commission myself with a head cold (which I sadly have now shared with The Engineer), I may or may not find time to blog again before Christmas.

If I don’t, please accept my very best wishes for a happy Christmas. And if I do, please accept my very best wishes for a happy Christmas.

Photo by Ma Bou00eete A Photos on Pexels.com

Please note: This is not our house. Our house decorations consist of two chocolate Advent calendars (with two more Advent calendars in various fridges — a wine one and a cheese one). Also, my little Norfolk Pine is strung with fairy lights and decorated with crochet stars similar to these. That’s the extent of our holiday decor.

The presents under the tree are wrapped in brown paper from the many packages we’ve had delivered. The tree and the gifts together provide a certain homey charm, I think.

I switched to using brown paper for our packages because we get so much of it. It seemed ridiculous to recycle rather than reuse it. Then I read that much of the wrapping paper available in stores can’t be recycled, and I switched permanently. I’m not saying that’s what you should do, especially because we use it partly because I’m #cheapaf. (Pardon me for talking in hash tags, but this one seems appropriate.)

Anyway, Merry Christmas! I hope your time is spent with those you love.