_________ December 14, 2015 __________

Just Another Manic Monday

I’m a downer.  Everything feels subdued and off and a little wrong.  And it’s probably because of the big hole in my inbox.  It’s been really *quiet* this week without Cal.  I always thought I was the noisy writer in the equation, but…

Anyhow, confession time.  I’m looking for someone else to write to.  I sent off a reply a Kansas City ad, yesterday morning.  I’m going to assume that he already got all the replies he needs, because I haven’t heard anything back – not a ‘thanks but…’ or anything.  Well, we’ll see.  But this ‘quiet’ is kind of throwing everything else off, and I vastly dislike checking in to e-mail, at the moment.  It’s just…  still.  Dead.  Something’s gotta give.

Anyhow, last night was the Hanukkah open house that I was invited to.  The woman is in my homeschool group, and in addition to that, she’s stumbled upon my blog.  She was looking for a specific resource, and discovered WAY more than she bargained for – a local woman she’d met IRL – and she ended up friending me on FB.  Because she’s a Messianic Jew.  I believe similarly, but do NOT get on with the Messianic people, mostly.

Anyhow, it seemed silly to be ‘friends’ with someone that I’d only seen once in my life – I didn’t even know if I *LIKED* her, y’know?  (Although I’m friends with a number of people on FB that I don’t really know if I *LIKE* – it’s just that they like me so much, that if I ‘unfriend’ them, they are ALL OVER that.  It’s kind of skeery, but they seem to just be… weirdly like groupies.  I mean, I could understand it, pre-November 2014, because I was actively blogging/teaching, then.  But now…?)  Anyhow, this woman lives literally just down the road from the swim pool, and I thought I should at least wish her a ‘Chag Hanukkah Sameach’.

So I went, last night.  MORE gussying – I swear, I am putting the *HURT* to the make-up, this month!!  I made another little hat ornament [ https://www.facebook.com/diyallthings/photos/a.1475667412675640.1073741827.1475666206009094/1534053340170380/?type=3 ] so as to have something to give her – I knew she probably didn’t do a tree, but the little hat can go on a Barbie, on a Rescue hero, on a Little People, and she had five kids, so…  And also last minute she posted that ‘dishes to pass were welcome’.  I didn’t know if that meant she needed food-stuff, so I had some soft snickerdoodle cookies we had for the holidays, so I just threw together a plate of those in a Ziploc bag.  And off I went!

Ho.Mi.Gosh.  It was so awful.  THIS is why I don’t leave the house.  Nobody answered the door.  Nobody cared if people showed up or not.  I kind of ended up walking in with a woman who came up behind me (with a baby in a car carrier) – I held the door for her.  Nobody said if shoes had to be off (I took mine off, just to be polite).  It was dirty and messy to the point of being overwhelming and tiny, and nobody said hello, or even looked up from their conversations.  The ‘friend’ in question was nowhere to be seen.  Her five kids were nose-deep on the sofas, involved in their video games or handheld electronics.  Her husband looked up and I said hi, but he didn’t even smile in my direction.  I found a seat nearby, and the dog wandered in.  Thank GOODNESS for the dog – I made a friend.  (NOT kidding.)  A child walked by, staring at me, so I offered up the little hat.  He/she (couldn’t tell) just kept going.  The dad gave me a look of disgust (?!), so I just set it aside, and. sat. there.

Until this really, really weird teenage girl with pink hair came over, and started quizzing me (Where do you live?  Are you married?  Where do you worship?).  I got her talking about herself, mostly.  She’s 15, lives some of the time with her grandma, some of the time with her mother who doesn’t like her, and at the moment with her brother in a basement in Grand Rapids.  She’s an ‘entrepreneur’ – mostly does social work with the homeless downtown, offering them job fair information and listening to their stories.  I… that’s…!  NO WORDS!!!  She’s FIFTEEN.  Shouldn’t she be in SCHOOL?!  She said she homeschools herself, because she’s 89% deaf.  Except with her hearing aids in, she hears fine, or so she added.  (!??!?!!)  She was very off – said she could ‘read’ people’s characters, and that she could tell that I’m a ‘quiet leader’.  Oooookay.  But at least she was talking to me, y’know?

There was a guy there that I follow on FB – I thought he seemed like someone who might be interesting – who could share Truth (he has a degree in Hebrew Studies).  But he set himself up like a God at the end of the table, and had no humility, no interest in anything more than being THE MAN at the event.  He was way too holy to be bothered with even greeting the likes of me (although I was fast learning that of the people there – he and I were one of three that weren’t family).  I wouldn’t listen to a thing that man said if you PAID me to, now that I’ve met him.  I went home and unfollowed him.  😛

PinkHair got distracted with my ‘friend’s father, so I wandered off to find the kitchen, hoping my ‘friend’ would be there.  She was – I don’t think I’ve seen anyone that completely disheveled in my life.  It’s like she rolled out of bed the same way for a week, solid.  Crusted up sweatpants, a t-shirt that was stained (with a screaming head on it), hair sticking out of a beret every which way, no make-up or… wOw.  Just wow.  I’d say it was because she was so busy cooking/cleaning, but the house was as big a disaster as her kids and… there wasn’t a whole lot for food going on.  I had thought – it being Hanukkah – she’d do latkes and sufganyot… kugel and that kind of thing.  She had sugar cookies and dip/crackers, and some little weiner things in sauce, and that was it.  (I didn’t eat.)

I tried to talk to her, but she was uninterested.  I’m not even sure why she invited me, to be honest.  And this is how it was when I went to the (only) Messianic congregation in GR, eight years ago, too.  They’re SO self-absorbed, and disinterested in showing kindness to others.  I hated it then, and hated it last night, too.  It’s like they’re busy pretending to be these better-than-you, awesomely holy Jews, even though they’re just people, hello.  And I made the mistake of not wearing a head-covering, so that was a big frown, too… not that this is a Biblical mandate, but it’s another reason other people are sub-par (YOU don’t cover!).  I ended up staying for the menorah and blessings, and then slipping out and going home.  It was too much like being the stranger off the street at a family dinner.  Not fun.  At all.

THIS is why I’m utterly anti-social.  It’s safer/better/less stressful to just stay away from people.  And yes, I unfriended her.  I didn’t feel like we were friends, after all of that.

Yesterday we worked more on the menorah.  You have NO idea how complicated the design of this thing has gotten.  It’s grooved out and pocketed and cut just so, and smoothed, and he gave me a battery operated Dremel to sand all the edges of the pieces…!  This, btw, was NOT what I had in mind!!!  It was supposed to somewhat be rustic and mismatched (without being asymmetrical)… and it got FANCY.  I’m not happy.  Anyhow, I stained the wood, yesterday.  But I’m very disappointed that it’s not going to be done in time for Hanukkah.  It just got too BIG and ‘finished’/polished for what I’d hoped.  We had different ideas on this project.  And I’m not saying it won’t be pretty – it’ll be fine – but it lost its fun.  He wants ‘like from a store’ and I wanted ‘handmade with love’.  Ah, well.

Things didn’t kick off around home until I got home from the ‘open house’.  Aaron had decided that we should have pancakes for supper, so I set to work right away, making up a HUGE batch of blueberry pancakes.  And we had so many blueberries in the freezer, we did up little bowls of them to go with.  And turkey sausage medallions, on the side… just fun (but HEAVY!!!!) food.

Then we pulled out the gold-foil, chocolate coins and dreidles, and we played and laughed and coins were zipping all over the table, and Aaron kept getting gimmel after gimmel (while I kept getting shem after shem, naturally.)  Gimmels take all.  Shem’s are a loss of coin.  LoL!!  But I was thinking… the smell of syrup and blueberries and sausage, the laughter and shiny coins and warm, mostly picked-up house… it was SUCH a difference from over at that ‘party’, where everything was forced and distracted and uncomfortable.  I so prefer home!!  Lighting our menorahs, doing our little readings together, no electronics to be seen, anywhere.

And of course `❈°PRESENTS°❈´   Lydia got something like 20,000 beads and elastic string and little fancy jewelry things.  Isaac asked for a plastic Aragorn sword (but with only one, there’s nothing much to do with it, but stab stuff and get in trouble.  It was his BIG wish, though.  That one doesn’t make good decisions).  Ethan got Snap Circuits, and has 100 electric projects to build with it.  He’s in his glory.  Aaron got the food and dishes, and whipped out his chef hat and apron and was ALL about cooking.  Owen had asked for a train or a tractor – so I got him a little train set that could be snapped together in different ways to build two levels of track.  It has crossing gates with lights and music… he LOVES it.

And I got my tree.  Holy WOW, it’s taller than Brian!  That thing has to be 7 foot.  And it was only $14 (although the tag that’s still on it from the original store says $198)!  I can’t believe it – it’s SO beautiful!!  (And huge.  Have I mentioned HUGE?!)  Got to do some rearranging to deal with all the new stuff, I think…!

We watched our favorite holiday movie, “Lights” [ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BGH2M2?keywords=lights%20leonard%20nimoy&qid=1450101093&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2 ]  It’s a cartoon about Hanukkah that’s weirdly symbolic and deep at the same time as being very shallow and simple.  And halfway thru, we had to pause it, because the cartoon picture used the Alexander Mosaic (< one of our art history pieces) as one of the scenes in the movie.  If we hadn’t studied it this year, I would NOT have recognized it.  Incredible, to think that art history is hidden in a show we’ve watched over and over, but only those who study it would notice.  Very fun – and SO cool!!

Anyhow.  It’s the day after.  I don’t write about today until tomorrow, but… it’s going to be one of those where there will be a lot to report on.  (No school, today – it’s the last day of the feast, until sunset, and Hannah will be here in a couple hours for a sleepover, so… yeah.  More on that, tomorrow.  But just think how much there’ll be to share, then!  🙂

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