We were supposed to be camping this weekend. And then the weather forecast last week stated temperatures in the 40s and rain starting Friday afternoon into early Saturday morning, tapering off around breakfast.
The rain started later than anticipated on Friday so the rain became heavy by nightfall. The problem pipe draining our front yard still hadn’t been solved; Chris had been unable to pinpoint the actual issue. Friday night I started packing up my clothes and Forest’s clothes and a few other items, with Chris to bring in the storage bins for packing the rest of the gear later in the evening. However, the rain never let up. Secretly I had already been hoping not to go camping, though I was going to make the best of it if we were going. It still felt too close to our last camping trip just a couple of weeks ago at Thanksgiving to be packing up once again for a camping trip.
The evening wore on and I meandered upstairs to find a Christmas movie to watch on Netflix and settled on Christmas with a View which wasn’t terribly cheesy. Earlier in the week I had watched A Christmas Prince: A Royal Wedding which is the sequel to the original movie from last year. The sequel was definitely cheesier than the first. Around 8pm or so Chris decided to go outside and attempt to see if he could work on the clogged pipe after he’d done a yard surveillance to see where water levels were heading (the pond went over the dock but the stuff in our fire pit didn’t float away—so, not terribly high). The front yard was becoming a pond of course and if nothing drained my poor winter seedlings would have succumbed to submersion. Thankfully Chris managed to dislodge something or the amount of water already accumulated managed to start the draining process because when we woke up on Saturday morning there was on a small puddle in the low spot instead of a flooded garden. We still have no idea what’s going on with the pipe. Chris’ new theory is a tree root is pushing the pipe up somewhere so a little amount of water isn’t able to start flowing but a larger amount is. Who knows?
It proceeded to rain sporadically Saturday morning and paired with the cold weather we canceled our camping plans. Instead we did chores and Chris worked on our back door which he’d replaced the weekend before. I never wrote about it here, maybe I mentioned it but I can’t remember, but during the fall of 2017 Chris built a giant stand inside the house for a 205 gallon freshwater aquarium he bought off of Craigslist. Chris had kept tanks up until our move from Florida, ranging from freshwater to large salt water reef tanks. We hadn’t had a tank since we’d moved back to Texas and I guess he got the itch and went ‘Chris style’, which means he went all out, and got really into aquatic plants and raising discus fish. Welllllll, one morning last spring we woke up to nearly the entire tank drained out onto our dining room floor. Luckily there is only one or two spots with any kind of minor warping and he was able to save some of the fish and sell them that day. It was a disaster. Anyway, part of the reason the back door was replaced, other than it opened in and hit our sofa chair, was that we needed the second double door to actually open so we could get the tank stand out of the house. The tank itself barely fit through our front door.
It was a slow Saturday, the chores and back door, lunch out, getting groceries, and I managed to escape by myself for a few hours to do some Christmas shopping. I actually love to get out and shop at Christmas. It tires me out now but it was one of the things I really enjoyed doing with my parents as a kid. Even if I’m not buying something I do enjoy looking at things, especially now because I don’t really shop that much or have the chance to get out by myself. Back when I had the weekend away with my friends we went to the Temple mall and even then it was just enjoyable to walk through and see things and bring by memories from being a teenager and spending hours at the mall or when I worked at Hallmark in the mall in high school. I did get wistful as I passed a Hallmark yesterday but didn’t go in since I didn’t need anything. I can’t resist the urge to straighten cards when I do go in and I always turn my cards around to show the barcode when I do buy cards because I know how annoying it is to have to flip them over.
Today was similarly as quiet, though we ventured to the museum district to get another trip in from our membership to the Houston Museum of Natural Science before it expires sometime in January. We arrived around 10:30 and surprisingly the place was not packed, which has been our experience for every single visit we’ve had there. Considering the weather was terrible I thought more people would be inside but I suppose they were all shopping! We bounced from exhibit to exhibit with an exuberant 4 year old towing the adults around. Chris and I would attempt to look at the various exhibits but that mostly happened in a blur. Apparently trilobites and ammonites hold no interest to kids excited about dinosaurs!
I’d been promising to make sugar cookies with Forest for a few weeks now and despite being tired from our museum trip I decided we’d just buckle down and do it today. I quickly checked my grandmother’s recipe but wasn’t interested in using shortening and then my next go-to recipe involved powdered sugar which I think Chris used the last of when making Forest’s birthday cookies a few months ago. So, to the internet I went and came up with something I could do with regular old butter, sugar, and flour and we made it work. I quickly realized that once Forest ran out of patience for cutting out cookies that I didn’t have the patience to finish cutting the rest of the dough by myself so I saved about half of the dough in the freezer to make at a later date. Our Christmas cookies are an eclectic mix of your typical Christmas holiday cookie cutters thrown in with a heavy dose of orange T-Rex’s.
All of this is to say that it was a quiet winter weekend for us, the kind that I really enjoy the most because we’re all hanging out together. Not that camping wouldn’t have been fun if it had been sunny and in the 40s—it would have been more fun in the 70s and sunny—but it was a lot more fun to relax and have a good weekend around the house.