here. Date I started addressing cards: I can’t guarantee it, but I think it was somewhere around December 3rd. Date I finished: The day after I stopped taking addresses, so December 22nd. Total cards sent out (not including family): 320. States receiving 10 or more cards: California (21), Illinois (10), Maine (11), Michigan (14), North Carolina (16), Ohio (16), Pennsylvania (11), Texas (17), Virginia (16), Washington state (12). States who don’t love me and didn’t want a card: Hawaii, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, Washington DC. Other countries receiving cards: Canada (16), New Zealand (2), Australia (9), United Kingdom (2), Sweden (2), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1), Germany (1), Finland (1), Scotland (3), Switzerland (1), France (1) and Israel (1). Number of cards kicked back as undeliverable: Just one, because I’m a dumbass who forgot to put the stamp on the card. I put a stamp on the card and mailed it right back out; hopefully it got there before Christmas! Percentage of probability that I accidentally sent out more than one card to at least one person: 96.837. Was I terribly organized about my card sending this year?: Not terribly organized, not terribly disorganized. I’d like to say I was more organized than I expected to be, with the whole house thing going on and distracting me. Did I have a lot of fun shopping for funny cards?: I did not. What I did have a lot of fun doing was creating a personalized card this year that was AWESOME. I don’t know how on earth I’m ever going to top that card, I really don’t. For those of you who hate me and didn’t request a card, this is what it looked like:

(Inside: But he loves Santa. Happy freakin’ holidays.)
I actually ran out of cards, and about 40 of you ended up with handmade cards wherein I taped that picture to the front of a blank card and hand-wrote the message inside. Thank god for Walgreen’s and their willingness to print out 40 pictures in the space of a couple of hours. What I’ll do differently next year: Order more cards, probably. Number of cards I’ve received: As of today, 153. I had them taped to the back of the front door, the door between the hallway and kitchen, and the door to the garage. Next year I’ll have to come up with a better way of displaying them, methinks. Thanks, you guys, for the awesome cards you sent. They always make me smile! It’s amazing how many names I recognize when I’m opening cards. I took a picture of the cards I’ve received, and they’re here. I left the picture cards in the pictures I took, but blurred out all names. If your card is on that page and you don’t want it there, just say the word and I’ll blur the whole thing out, I promise.
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When we were in Pigeon Forge, I think I mentioned that we did a lot of shopping. One of the things we did was to hit some of the factory outlets, and one of the factory outlets we hit was Harry & David. They had lot of stuff marked down to 50% off, and I saw some Christmas dishes I absolutely loved. I didn’t want to make an impulse purchase, though, so I decided to sleep on it. When I woke up the next day, I decided I really wanted those damn plates. I mean, we’re planning on having Christmas (at least the morning part of Christmas) at our house next year, so we really needed Christmas plates, right? I ended up getting not only the regular-sized plates I loved so much, but also appetizer plates that I fell in love with as well. And I ended up not having to pay anything for them, because my sister bought them for me, for my birthday! My sister ROCKS.
The appetizer plates. The dinner plates.
When we were in the Smoky Mountain Cat House, my mother saw some dessert plates she really liked, and she bought them. I don’t know if she bought them intending to give them to me next Christmas, or bought them for herself and decided it’d be too much of a pain in the ass to get them home unbroken or what, but she ended up giving them to me for my birthday (along with a Lowe’s gift card, which my parents decided would be funny to give me, ’cause I told them we got so many for Christmas that we would probably be able to finish out one bathroom with no cost to us!)
All in all, it was a very good birthday. And my birthday’s not ’til next Tuesday!
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Tuesday night Fred and I were watching TV when the phone rang. He picked it up, looked at the caller ID, and handed it to me. It was the shelter manager, and I hoped she was calling to tell me she had some kittens for me. Instead, she asked if I was willing to take Moondance and Moonman – a couple of adult cats who’d been at the pet store for several weeks – for a couple of weeks. They’ve been in a cage together (they’re siblings), and it appears that they’re starting to get on each others’ nerves – something I noticed when I was at the pet store on Monday. Of course I was willing to take them in for a couple of weeks, so yesterday morning I went to the pet store and got them. The boy – Moonman – was perfectly willing to get into the cat carrier, but the girl – Moondance – did NOT want to get into the carrier, and I had to chase her down and wrestle her into the carrier. She’s got a very loud meow when she’s scared, and she howled all the way through the store, across the parking lot, and halfway home before she settled down. At home, I let Mister Boogers and Sugarbutt sniff at them through the carrier doors (and Mister Boogers hissed and growled at them), then shooed them out of the room, set up the litter box and food and water bowls, and opened the doors to their carriers and left the room. (I like to let the cats get a little acclimated to their surroundings before I get all up in their faces.) About an hour and a half later, I went into the cat room, and Moonman was hiding in one of the hiding places (I don’t know what to call that thing. A pyramid?) and Moondance was sniffing around, and when I walked into the room, she froze. Now, they were always perfectly friendly at the pet store, so I expected them to come over and be petted, but instead they just stared at me and looked scared. Moondance stood, frozen, in the middle of the room and stared at me. Now, here’s the thing about cats that I never really noticed before yesterday: when they want to look at something to the left of them, they move their whole heads, rather than just their eyes. Moondance, frozen in place, looked to the left of me by moving just her eyes instead of moving her whole head, and it was really kind of odd to see that happen. I eventually sweet-talked her into coming over to be petted, and now she’s relaxed enough that if you go into the room she’ll freak out a little at first, then the lightbulb goes on over her head – “Oh, they pet me, and I likes to be petted!” – and she comes over for some lovin’. He, on the other hand, is a shy little monkey, and hides in his pyramid until he decides it’s safe to come out, whereupon he walks across the room, stretching, ends up in front of the food dish and casually says “Oh, look. It’s food! Why, I suppose I could have a bite to eat…” He’s only let me pet him a few times. Maybe it’ll take a couple of days for him to relax enough to come over and demand love the way she does. Anyway, pictures! Moondance (the girl). Moonman (the boy, obviously). I’ll try to get better pictures of them. The pictures don’t convey just how pretty they are!    
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Miz Poo has claimed the basket by the computer room window as her own. She’s spent the bulk of the last two days curled up in the basket. Tommy likes to sleep in the basket upstairs in my bedroom. I think the baskets are a hit!
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Previously 2006: No entry. 2005: No entry. 2004: No entry. 2003: No entry. 2002: Links. 2001: What sad, sad lives y’all must have led, to never experience the delight of whoopie pies. 2000: I’m feeling like total crap.]]>