December 2nd, 2006

Manga-style me

"Don't be a dick" is the fundamental rule of all social spaces.

After that snark, I felt like I should share this to show that I try not to be a dick at that same support group site. A few minutes ago, I got a notification of a new message [addressed to me, not a community there].

I saw in your post you recommended free counseling in the tucson area. How do you find them? I desperately need counseling, but I'm down to the dollar with my budget. I live in Wa state, don't know if you could point me in the right direction.

Because they listed a city in their profile, I kicked '[city name] WA mental health free' into Google and got a social services page on a website for their county, enabling me to quickly give them contact information for their county mental health information & referral service, a sliding scale fee clinic, and a displaced homemakers program.

I have Google juice to spare, but I'm sleepy and going to bed now. My kitchen smells like freshly baked bread because I finally remembered to get the breadmaker going. Tomorrow we're going to hit up the dollar store for squash [1] and bananas to start making der quick breads. I plan to take a couple loaves of freshly made banana bread in for Laurel's class snack on Monday. Also, I love me some banana bread thawed and rewarmed in the oven sliced and gently dabbed with butter. Mmm.

1. Every week our local 99 Cents Only has a different selection of produce. a few weeks ago there were 5 lb bags of russet potatoes; this week there are a ton of spotted-ripe bananas and variety bags of squash. One note about buying food there: the frozen food is generally a subpar value (except for the frozen whole ravioli, which is awesome) and I wouldn't touch the packaged meats. (Besides, if your budget is so tight you're thinking about buying hot dogs at the dollar store, go to the Wal-Mart Supercenter and get the package of 36 turkey hot dogs for just over $3. It's a better unit price with fewer mystery ingredients.)

Meme: Holiday traditions

(gently borrowed from may_lyn)

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate, preferably Stephen's Gourmet.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Mommy wraps the presents. Santa's just a carrier like FedEx, only without Andy Spero.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Our tree is pre-lit with white lights. The outdoor lights are alternating swags of blue and white icicle lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I haven't in years.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Around the first week of December, then stockings up the night before Christmas. This year I'm feeling lazy and the kiddo and I will be out of town for over a week around the holiday, so we just have our wreath on the door for now.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sweet potatoes. Not with all the sugary junk on it, just plain cooked sweet potatoes.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: the year my cousin carefully bit the bodies off the chocolate babies on my grandparents' tree.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember not knowing. We talked about Santa, but in an abstract way like Lady Liberty.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Mostly in blue and white -- it's prelit with white lights and we add blue bead garlands, blue and silver glass balls and a blue-robed angel. Laurel adds her special ornaments, like the felt gingerbread kid ornaments I made for her class party last year, and we're good to go.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Eh. I know how to dress appropriately for the weather.

12. Can you ice skate? I'm so-so in figure skates, but I can fake it in hockey skates.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No. Do you want to my favorite thing I bought someone else as a holiday gift this year? A package of yellow Tonka trucks in just-slightly-larger-than Matchbox car size. I took a page from auntiesiannan to inaugurate my aunthood as the auntie to give them 'gucks.

14. [there was no question 14]

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Gingerbread. Tamales dulces. My grandmother's sticky buns. Tres leches cake.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? It used to be Madrigal Dinner. I'm not sure what it is now, but this weekend I'll be singing wassail anyway because it's ingrained in my brain now. All your figgy pudding are ours. (Someone please assuage my pangs of missing Madrigal again this year. Life your wassailing bowl and think of me.)

17. What tops your tree? An angel.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I plead the Fifth. (Look, I didn't make a Dan Savage joke!)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Carol of the Bells.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? I like peppermint but I'm not really into eating candy canes. I like them for gingerbread house decorating.