“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

The high today will be about 12˚ and the low around 6˚. The rest of the week will have similar temperatures. I dread going out, but I haven’t any choice. My trunk is filled with trash, I’m out of bread and cream and Gracie is out of canned dog food. I fear the dump stop most of all. It is open land and the freezing wind whips across the recycling area. I think of it as the local tundra. Avoiding it today only postpones the inevitable. Warm weather won’t be here until after the new year.

Yesterday was a day of leisure. I didn’t even get dressed. I read most of the day and was so exhausted I needed a nap.  Last night I had leftovers from Christmas for dinner. They were delicious. Now, only a bit of green bean casserole and some beef are left. Soon they too will be gone and Christmas dinner will be a delicious memory.

I don’t love being out in the cold, but I do love the cold as an excuse to stay home, comfy and warm. When I take Gracie out, I plead and beg for her to be quick, but she doesn’t really need my exhortations as she doesn’t like the cold much either. Boxers have short fur and on their bellies they have virtually none. When we go out, Gracie wears her coat to keep her warm while I am in the stores. Her coat is quite fashionable.

After Christmas, I feel a bit letdown. Everything which made the day special is finished. The leftover wrapping paper and ribbons are stored until next year. The decorations will soon be stored down cellar. The tree will be emptied of ornaments and thrown outside. I hate that most of all. It seems like an ignoble end for something so beautiful, for something which has keep the dark winter nights aglow. Its pine aroma still fills my downstairs rooms.

After the tree is gone, it takes me a while to get used to the house as it always is. The corner where the tree was looks wrong. That’s the most difficult part of Christmas, the end of it.

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16 Comments on ““In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.””

  1. flyboybob Says:

    Here the temperature is in the lower 40s which is the high for the day. They are predicting close to record cold weather for Monday. The sky has been cloudy for a couple of days but not a drop has fallen.

    Yes, this is the time of the great letdown. The holidays are over and the decorations are ready to be stored until next year. We have once again boosted the economy more than Trump’s tax cut by spending record amounts on gifts.

    Interestingly, the county tax offices here are accepting prepayment of property tax for 2018 before Saturday so that one will be able to deduct the amount for next year on this year’s taxes. I live in one of the reddest of states. It seems that property tax is now going to be limited to a maximum of $10,000 for a couple filing jointly under the new tax law. I guess in the rush to get it out the door no one who voted for it looked to check all the details except to give the highest 1% earners and big businesses the biggest tax cut in history. Look out for 2018 because the Republicans intend to go after and cut ‘entitlement’ programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They have been trying to bend the working, middle class over the preverbal barrel for decades without kissing them and now they have their opportunity. 🙂 This tax cut bill is a lesson in how to turn the United States into a banana republic. 🙂

    I’ve been off from work for too long and I’m getting very bored. Can’t wait for January 2nd to arrive.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I froze when I was out doing my errands. The dump, however, was fine as the man who works the recycles took everything out of the car for me so I stayed nice and warm.

      Little Christmas is when everything will be put away. I’ll do bit here and there.The snowmen will stay for a while. They are winter, not Christmas.

      I am lucky to live in the bluest state of them all. We were the only state which voted for McGovern, and I’m still proud of that. I am lucky that my taxes are quite low here in Dennis so rushing to pay makes no sense for me. The expectation is that cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will help defray the trillions being added to the debt from the lowering of taxes for the wealthy.

      You sound like a kid at the end of summer!

      • Bob Says:

        Yes, I’m ready to get back to work because I enjoy what I do and the folks with whom I work.

        I find it interesting that when the Democrates are in power the Republicans complain that the long term deficit is the worst thing in the world. When the Republicans are in power they forget about the deficit and demand that high taxes are the worst thing in the world. I fear for people with disabilities who depend on programs like Medicaid and Social Security disability for their income.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I loved my job and the people I worked with too, but I was happy to retire when I did, thirteen years ago.

        The building of the deficit began with Bush. and we have only added to it since then. After Trump has his way the deficit will be beyond counting: numbers never get that high.

      • Spaceman Says:

        The national debt under Bush increased 4 trillion. Under Obama, the debt increased 9 trillion (based on numbers from CBS news). In the new tax law for married couples, the standard deduction goes from $12,000 to $24,000. Some people itemize, which is advantageous if your itemized deductions are greater than standard deduction. More people will take the standard deduction n 2018 rather than itemizing since standard deduction is being doubled. In the new tax law, the total itemized deduction allowance for local and state incomes and property tax is capped at $10,000. So if you itemize, and the total of other itemized deductions is greater than $14,000 and the total of local and state incomes/ property tax is greater than $10,000, then you would be additionally be taxed for the excess of local and state income/property over $10,000 according to whatever tax bracket you are in. Typically about 22%-24% rate for most people with incomes up to $350,000 or so. So this tax change will primarily impact people who live in places where state and local governments impose high income taxes and property taxes.

      • katry Says:

        Spaceman,

        I doubt I will have enough medical to make a difference though I do have a few from eye surgery. My taxes are well under the amount allowed.

        Since my retirement, I have received far less money. I used to get 2 or 3 thousand back now it is less than 300. I guess it’s better than paying.

      • Spaceman Says:

        The lower amount that you have been getting back is likely because your retirement income is less compared to when you were working and hence you not paying as much tax into the system? In the new tax law for singles the standard deduction goes from $6,500 to $12,000, so if you have been taking the standard deduction then you will continue take the (increased) standard deduction, which will result in getting more money back on your 2017 return – since your AGI will be lower.

      • katry Says:

        Spaceman,
        The lower amount is also because I have far fewer deductions than I used to have. My medical expenses in the past have been high but haven’t been in the last few years. I no longer pay state taxes nor do I have professional fees and such for conferences.

        I’ll be happy for the higher deduction.

  2. Hedley Says:

    Done.
    3 hours of dismantling, ornaments returning to their original boxes (sorta) and the house restored to its natural state. It’s funny as soon as Christmas Day is over the decorations feel stale and need to leave.
    It’s dangerously cold. So we are settling in for an early evening with The Crown, episode 7, and a late night with Michigan State University. The Sparties do not kick off in San Diego until 9pm.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I don’t think of decorations as ever stale. The lights on the trees are on, and my living room still looks bright. I’ll gradually put Christmas away as I gradually decorated. I find that most things don’t necessarily end up where they began, but I do find them every year.

      I froze just running from the house to the car to a store and back again. I’m glad to be home and am dreading going out tomorrow!

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        If I want to see a movie enough, I’ll go by myself. It is no problem going alone as you can’t talk during the film anyway.

        I didn’t know that about King George.

    • Bob Says:

      Yesterday I was so bored that I went to the movies by myself and saw ‘The Darest Hour’. I was surprised to learn that Chamberlin was still pushing an appeasement policy after Churchill became the Prime Minister. I was also, surprised to learn that King George would have taken the Royal family to Canada had he thought that the Nazis would invade the UK.

  3. Birgit Says:

    It’s too early to take down Christmas stuff, Jan 6th at the earliest and the lights will stay longer. No snow here to lighten up the outside world. I had hoped for snow at the turn of the year when we’re away from home for a few days but it looks like we’ll get rainy 50’s instead.
    The days after the Christmas holidays are called ‘between the years’ here. My grandma still believed that you shouldn’t do any laundry between the years in order to keep away bad luck.
    Stay warm! (And maybe stay away from laundry?)

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      My lights will go on each night until January 6th, Little Christmas. I don’t know if my tree will last, but I hope so as it is lovely.

      Tomorrow night will be -2 and we could have snow on Saturday night. It will stay cold until after the weekend.

      It was freezing when I went out today, and I was glad to get home, and I’m warm and toasty!

  4. Coleen Says:

    Happy Soon To Be New Year Kat!

    Flyboy Bob: I live in New Jersey, where all taxes are high and they are crowding around the tax office’s window in an attempt to beat the deadline at the end of the year! And the IRS may not even accept the payments!

    And Kat, not for nuthin’, but it seems to me that doggie coats in weather like this are totally useless…just a piece of foam padding, and not much else…am I wrong? Is Gracie happy with her coat?.

    Frozen in place and cannot wave for the time being! 🙂

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Coleen

      Happy Almost New Year to you!!

      Gracie’s coat is wool, a wool Pendleton blanket: white with colored stripes. It has no padding. Gracie doesn’t mind her coat. I don’t know if she likes it but she does wait while I connect the velcro.

      Watch out for that ice!!


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