Everyone's asleep, even Hobkin.
But I'm wide awake.
Got back from seeing Matthew's folks yesterday. The drive was a bit grueling toward the end so I spent most of my birthday crashed out on the couch, recovering.
We sent Hobkin to his godmother's for "Christmas camp" (she has 10 skunks herself--many of them rescues) during the time we were out of town and I was quite anxious about him. But, as it turns out, he had a blast playing with her crew and, though quite happy to see us, from all reports had a great time. It's such a relief having someone we trust so completely to watch over him for us.
Then we drove to Illinois. Straight. Twelve and a half hours in a car. We made excellent time, though. Showed up on their doorstep (forgetting about the time zone change) at 6:45 AM. Heh. Ooops. They came shuffling to the door in their housecoats, looking rather bleary. It was very cute. Did I mention that I really love Matthew's parents? We shooed them back to bed and did the Christmas elf thing, unpacking all the presents and setting them under the tree.
Matthew kept his nocturnal hours for the most part, so I got to spend a lot of time chatting with his parents in the morning as we waited for him to wake up. The recent economy has not been good for them. They had a lot of investments that have lost a lot of money. I'm worried about them, especially since Matthew's father isn't in very good health.
They talked a lot about moving, which they need to do. The house is too big for them to maintain and they have too much stuff. And therein lies the problem. They really need to get rid of stuff, and they're having a very hard time doing so. So much of it has sentimental value, plus Matthew inherited his packratitis from them.
I'm also really sad at the idea of Christmas not at that house. I learned to love Christmas in the house Matthew grew up in. It's going to be hard when that changes. But Christmas is where the loved ones are. No matter where Matthew's parents end up, it'll be joyful.
Because of the funky date situation (Christmas on Wednesday, agh), and that we were on the road during Christmas proper, we opted to prolong Christmas (we're still in "Christmas" actually). We opened our presents on Saturday. I loved everything I got!
DVDs: Sabrina (the Audrey Hepburn version), Lilo and Stitch, and the Disney's special edition of Beauty and the Beast.
Books: Harlan Ellison's Paingod anthology, A Caress of Twilight by Laurell K. Hamilton, A Bed of Earth and Wolf Queen by Tanith Lee (squeal!).
Clothes: Many, many from sexy and fun to practical for work. Yippee skippee!
The crowning glory is a calendar Matthew made for me. I said I wanted a skunk calendar but, unsurprisingly, those are rather hard to come by. So, he made one, compiling the best pictures he could find from our various skunk and animal list contacts, formatting them, and for the calendar part itself, he researching holidays that would appeal to me. There's much on fey folk and wonderful holidays like "Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day" and "Lost Sock Day." Hundreds of hours of work went into that calendar. He had it professionally printed on glossy paper and bound. I absolutely love it. It's gorgeous and the sweetest, most loving gift I have ever gotten. The amount of time and thought he put into it . . . I can't find the words to express how touched I am. I shall treasure it forever.
Of course Hobkin was a calendar model. He's March.
And the one he used for March:
There's a few more at http://home.comcast.net/~mustalayday/hobkin9mo.htm
And then we came home on my birthday. After picking up a snuggly Hobkin, we took a long soak in the hot tub and crashed on the couch for several hours. Sushi for dinner (yummy), candles to blow out, and more presents to open!
Matthew got me what appears to be everything I circled or otherwise bookmarked in the Victoria's Secret catalog. Hee. I may have to take pictures and post them . . . and a box of amazing chocolate truffles-second-best-only-to-sex from the florist shop around the corner.
dude_the got me Harvey on DVD. (Thank you!) I have loved that movie since I saw it, years and years ago.
Matthew's folks got me a soft stuffed bear with mittens and a scarf (mandatory "awws")and Breakfast at Tiffany's on DVD (Can you tell I adore Audrey Hepburn?) and The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying out of the Rejection Pile - a resource I've heard many good things about and had on my list. Matthew's father is a retired English teacher and has authored two mystery novels, a children's book, and several poetry collections. I really love that he and I can talk shop.
We still have Christmas presents to open. Today we're doing our stockings and the "friends" (versus "family") pile of gifts. The end of Christmas will smoothly segue into New Year's Eve celebrations.
I think this has been the best Christmas I've ever had. And it's not even over yet.