Happy New Year!

Yeah I'm a little late in wishing folks Happy New Year, but better late than never.

I got all of the decorations taken down and put away today. We took the tree out back and used it to block a hole under the fence where the dog would run and get his lead all tangled up. So, it's technically being recycled.

The side board looks so bare now. I am so used to seeing the garland around the mirror and the tabletop tree. 

I think I'm going to keep the guinea pig cage in the hallway for now. The corner where he used to sit is empty now, and I like space.

We had a  really great Christmas with the family.  On Christmas Eve, we had just us 5 at home and we sat and watched movies, had popcorn and cocoa, and played board games then opened all but 2 gifts each. On Christmas morning, the girls got their stockings. Santa doesn't bring them big gifts anymore (my wallet is so thankful!) They were stuffed full of all sorts of things they'd been asking for that fit in the stockings, like nail polish, new toboggans with pompoms on top, gloves, socks, candy, etc. Then they got to open one of the last gifts we'd saved from Christmas Eve. It was nice to get credit for the gifts instead of Santa LOL! I'm a terrible person, I know.  Then we got to cleaning up and cooking.  We has an international dinner with Cashew Chicken, spinach enchiladas, refried beans, potato and cauliflower curry, and caesar salad. I had eggs rolls too, but we forgot to cook them haha. Still we had tons of food.  All 5 of us were there, then Corina and Tyler came over and so did my mother in law AND father in law.  He only comes to visit us on Christmas, and it's really nice to have him for dinner. He's the type that kind of likes to keep to himself, so it's an honor to have him for dinner at all.
After dinner, we all opened gifts with the whole family, including the last ones we'd saved from before. It was all such a great time.  I loved seeing their faces when they opened something from us that I knew they wanted, and they'd even forgotten they'd asked for once upon a time.
Then we all played card games and board games until I had to head to work, and they kept on playing.

Christmas Day was also the Doctor Who Christmas special where the Eleventh Doctor regenerated.  The actor, Matt Smith has been such a great Doctor, and he's my 2nd favorite Doctor of all time, and definitely my favorite of the new ones. I was so sad to see him go. I watched it while I was logged into work, and just cried and cried.  But I do look forward to seeing the next Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Of course, the next episodes won't air until August, so we have time to get ready!

New Years Day was when we had the family get together with my brother and sister and their families. I managed to just sit back and mainly be quiet and let other people do all the talking and not embarrass myself. Christopher kept going on and on about coffee shops in our town compared to my sister's shop, and they talked about business plans etc.  We had a white elephant gift exchange, and there were some real doozies. Monster slippers, a used DVD player and a box of golf balls, a back scratcher, two dragon incense burners, and a Kindle! Plus the usual big lotion and bubble bath gift sets, etc. Two of my sister's kids couldn't make it home for this, but they'd all been together for their own Christmas gathering the week before. I'm afraid our extended family is going to drift further and further apart. I wish my sister and her family had been around this area when her kids were younger, so they could grow up with my kids and our gathering would have all the kids together, and they'd be closer.  Now, they barely know each other and certainly don't keep in touch. But then, I barely see my own brother and sister and certainly don't keep in touch, so...

Also, On New Years Day was the return of Sherlock on BBC. It hasn't officially shows in the US yet, but I know where to watch it online when it airs in the UK. It was SO good! I knew I'd missed John and Sherlock, but didn't realize how much.

So, now we're almost a week in to 2014, and I still don't have my new insurance cards from work.  Does anyone else ever have this problem? I have high hopes for Monday though.  No one had better get sick, especially with this new coverage >_>.

We got a new-to-us car.  It's a clunker really. A '93 Dodge Dynasty. It has a crack down the middle of the windshield, and the hood looks like it was spray painted, badly. But it runs!  mostly! It has its own issues though.  When we got to my sister's coffee shop on Wednesday for the get together, we found that the bolt helping to hold the driver's side door on broke off. So, it hangs there, dangerously close to warping the last and only place it's still held onto the car. We managed to get it shut and then bungeed the door to the car near the top of the door with the window rolled down. It was crazy. Well, then the next day or so, Christopher finds a bolt that will work for now.  We were going to go to Lowes and see if we could find one much closer to what was needed, but there was a new issue.  The door wouldn't close. The latch that hooks onto the door jam was stuck closed, so it couldn't grab the bar, and in fact couldn't close at all.  So, he wedged it shut to get the light to go off, then drove the Explorer to work.  He has to pour 3 jugs of water into the radiator just to get to work and back in that thing. So, I knew the door on the car HAD to be fixed.  So, after asking my son in law to come look at it, I decided to just Google the issue, and found a video on how to fix it.  So, at 3:30am (on my night off work), I went out there with my phone light, a screwdriver and a can of WD40, and I fixed it myself! Yay me!  It still needs a better bolt to not be so wonky still, but it's much better than it was at least! I sure will be glad when we have one good reliable vehicle at least, and then maybe *GASP* two of them!?   Some day!

Okay, I am off to watch some TV while the family sleeps.  Happy New Year!