Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone was able to user in the year safely and without any major incidents (that we won't read about on Smoking Gun).
I was by my lonesome New Years' Eve. The wife spent the night at her parents (taking care of them while her sister works) and my son ushered in the new year with his girlfriend/fiance. Since I was still recovering from my flu, I wasn't in the mood to party so it was just me and the dogs watching several old movies (or a Walking Dead marathon). The dogs were a wee bit skittish from all the fireworks last night, so I sat up with them to keep them from going berserk. Actually, Claire was the calm one. As usual, whenever there is a thunderstorm or heavy rain, she just hunkers down in the corner of the closet or under the bed until it passes. I've even found her curled up in a laundry basket in the closet (interesting trick for a dog who is pushing 90+ lbs). Grayson, on the other hand, is my pacer dog. He wanders back and forth, trying to curl up in your lap one minute and then pacing the floor the next. He has even wound up curled up in the shower when things get loud.
We passed the New Year relatively quietly. For a town with a ban on fireworks, there sure was a lot of fireworks going off in and around the neighborhood. Just past midnight, somebody set off what sounded like an entire roll/string (1000) of Black Cats just down the block that made extra unhappy. I kinda miss that action - past years we would go camping with my brother and parents out in the country where fireworks are legal, heck they encourage it. We stay an RV park in the country where the ranch/park owner has a stock pond and lights off fireworks at midnight over the pond. My brother and I have been the back up show since we go out and acquire some more stuff to add to the show. We let the kids light off some of the smaller works and save the massive armaments for just us. Of course, we take plenty of precautions, even though my brother still brings up the the time I shot him with a bottle rocket over Y2K. Nothing celebrates the New Year better like blowing stuff up.
Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day - clear and in the high 60s. I think I have finally turned the corner on my illness and took advantage of mild weather to pull down the Xmas decorations. The lights come down a lot quicker than they go up, but most of my time was spent undoing the light strings and packing them away for next year. Being an Engineer, I test each string and label what side of the house it was on so that I can put them up quickly next year. I test the bulbs and toss the bad ones, check the light strings and toss the ones that are too far gone, pack up the wreaths, and fold up the soldiers and pack everything away in the attic. After being sick for so long and wasting last week entirely , I tried to make up for it yesterday - was feeling too good to slow down. Got the Xmas tree bundled up and in the attic for another year. Today I hope to tackle the leaves in the yard, if I have the energy. I've had off way too long. I feel like a sloth from eating too much, sleeping late, and being sick most of the week. I did not get anything accomplished I had intended to do and head back to work tomorrow. It will certainly be hard to get up early and face the rat race again. Maybe I can find a few left over Christmas cookies to tide me over.