Happy 2016! Did all my readers have a good New Year’s Eve? Travalon and I went up to his high school buddy’s place in Waupun, and then we went with him and his wife to a supper club in Fond du Lac, where we met up with another couple. Afterwards we went to their house and were joined by yet another couple, and the women played games in the kitchen while the men watched college football bowl games in the family room. How about those bowl games this year? They were all so ridiculously lopsided, except for the Badgers game. They won that one at the last minute by two points.
New Year’s Day we had a lazy morning at Travalon’s buddy’s house, then we drove back to Madtown and went to the 4:00 pm Mass at the hospital, just like last year. Afterwards we went to my OTHER choir director’s (or should that be ex-choir director’s?) new apartment, which is very swanky, for his annual open house with tons of desserts he bakes himself. Of course I had to try everything, so then I went home and ran hard for two miles to salsa music. That night I felt very healthy.
It wouldn’t last. Saturday I woke up with a cold. Travalon and I went to Starsucks Coffee because I got a free drink for my birthday, and I had to redeem it by today. Then we hit the road and drove to Mineral Point, to visit the Celtic store we both enjoy so much. The only thing I ended up getting was soap, but Travalon found tea and a book he wanted. We drove on to Galena and walked around, enjoying the (relatively) good weather. At least it was sunny for the first time in weeks! Travalon found a store he loved called Strawberry Lane, full of 60’s stuff. He got his high school buddy (the one we saw for New Year’s Eve) a Twilight Zone lunchbox, and I saw a Tardis knit winter cap for all the Dr. Who fans out there. Travalon took me to the General Restaurant in the De Soto Hotel for my birthday dinner, and I got a free dessert for my birthday, so we split a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake. By the time we were done with dinner, the Christmas lights were glowing. Galena and Mineral Point are charming places any time of year, but at Christmas they are downright magical. We stopped into Mineral Point on the way back to check out their Christmas lights, and the little brewery we love was beautifully decorated, so we stopped in for a quick drink, and to split a piece of red velvet cake. Hey, if we split two desserts, that averages out to one dessert for each of us, right? We will be more virtuous starting today.
Yesterday was my birthday, and it started out very strangely when our parish priest got so sick during Mass that he couldn’t finish, and someone called the paramedics. This is now the third time I have seen such a thing, and at least this time he sat down before he fainted. The deacon said it counted for our Sunday Mass obligation, even though we didn’t get past the Creed. With the ensuing chaos, it lasted as long as a regular Mass, and the deacon did distribute previously consecrated communion. Then I was still feeling a little under the weather, so I had a wonderfully relaxing time praying my giant snuggly rosary while cuddling against two Santa bears from my youth, all under the blanket Travalon once gave me for Valentine’s Day that has “I love you” in four languages written all over it. I did feel well enough to have a small party later in the afternoon, but Light Bright decided not to come because she doesn’t want to expose her baby to germs before his vaccinations, which I totally get. The party was at Rich’s house, and he made chicken parmesan and black magic birthday cake, and Cecil Markovitch brought ice cream. Kathbert, Luxuli, Prairie Man, and Jilly Moose attended as well, and I even got some presents. Travalon and I decided to tape the Downton Abbey season premiere and watch the Packer game, but the Packers did that thing they do where they don’t really start to play until the fourth quarter, and then they suddenly catch up… or almost do, in this case. They did lose, so the Vikings are the NFC North champions this year. Bummer!