Christmas In Spring

How would you feel if you would receive a Christmas card which was sent four months ago? Yes, this season, the mail was erratic, to put it mildly. And even though it was three months after Christmas, it touched me. The card is beautiful, and the greetings are thoughtful, and I feel that somebody on the other side of the world was thinking about me.

Matter Does Not Disappear

It’s just that sometimes ot takes forever!

This Christmas season, I complained about the postal services a lot! However, mostly it was about the postcards, all my parcels had arrived surprisingly on time. But there were two parcels which I knew were shipped on time, and which didn’t arrive. 

One was my traditional Dim Reschikov calendar, which was shipped from Moscow on November 19 by International Express. Another one was a box of Christmas cookies from my friend in Germany. For both of these parcels, it took three months to arrive! 

I mean, I am delighted to receive them finally, but what was going on for three months?!

The Year Is Not Finished For Me Yet

Not only because there are several more hours left, but also, because there are too many things “in flight” now. In course of the past three days I had several new experiences, including driving with the baby on board :), and overall, I am seen this year off not like I planned a couple of days ago.

This been said, I hope that in a week I will be finally able to say good bye to 2020. Until that, I have tons of things to do.

On the bright side, I have more presents! This mask was set to me from Michigan, and I love it!

And just today, I received the sweets from my friend from Ufa, which is not an alien settlement, but the capital of Bashkortostan. Which in turn is not an imaginary country, but a part of Russia, located on the border of Europe and Asia.

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Time To Give Gifts, And Time To Receive Gifts

Almost all f my parcels, except for one, already reached their destinations, which delights me. I haven’t heard from two people who have received my parcels according to the USPS, but I hope to hear from them soon.

And now finally the packages which were sent to me started to Arrive.
That’s the gift I received from Kentucky.

The vanilla body lotion is heavenly, and the ornament is beautiful. When I realized that my new friend sent me the components to mix, add the liquid components, and bake-it-myself, I had mixed feelings, which might be understandable after 774 cookies :).

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All Is Right

And all of a sudden, the rush is over. I can’t stop smiling since last evening.
I had just two and a half workdays this week – we were dismissed at 1 PM yesterday, and since more than half of the company is on vacation, plus we have a code freeze, I was able to do work at work! That felt great – I was able to close all my tickets for the current sprint, the first time in I do not know how long!

Granted, there is still a lot of work with the book, we have ten days to finish, and there is still a substantial amount of writing. However, since I have so many days off, I am confident we will finish on time.

Yesterday, I stopped at the post office to drop off my cookies. Like with my nail spa and physical therapy, I packed small individual boxes rather than one box or a tray. I chose really pretty cookies for them because shipping for many years, I know first-hand how hard they work and how under-appreciated they are.

Their supervisor was on the shift, and I stopped aside, waited for a customer to complete their transactions, and told her: that’s for you guys, thank you!!! She was so happy I can’t even describe it:).

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The Most Important News Of The Day

I already shred these news with my friends earlier today, but the news are worth to be broadcasted.

You know that Santa Claus does not live in Alaska, right? And you know where he lives? He lives in Lanpland, which is the most Northern part of Finland. And this morning, the Finnish news agencies broadcasted Santa’s departure from his house in Lapland to deliver gifts to the children all over the world!

You can watch it here, and if you are not in the Christmas spirit yet, you definitely should watch it!

Also, the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Finland announced that although the border is closed, the sleigh drawn by reindeers will be allowed to pass through. So all is good, and Christmas is happening 🙂

Still Trying To Do Everything

I have to repeat one more time: our book and Christmas do not go well together. Even wrapping the presents and finishing a relatively small chapter – that’s what I was trying to do today – resulted in not completing either. Twenty other small things were not even started.

However, when I thanked our reviewer for returning the last chapter and added: I should have asked you for your postal address to send you some cookies; well, next year then, he emailed me his address immediately :). That being said, package number 19 is ready to be shipped.

I took Mom to the nail spa, and we both did our nails, and I left a small bag of cookies for each of the staff (these days, you can’t bring a cookie tray to any business).

The weather was nice and sunny, and I biked to the forest preserve on both Saturday and Sunday.

The country (at least, the State of Illinois) is experiencing the Christmas supplies crisis. All stores I visited over the weekend have close to nothing of Christmas decorations, lights, or packaging. I didn’t want to buy any extra wrapping/packaging until I figured out what I needed, and when I figured it out, it was too late. Now, I had to improvise with what I have.

I do not know who does not feel like Christmas – I certainly do 🙂

Trying to Finish Everything

“Everything” means the book and the rest of Christmas. With the book, after two or three extremely nervous weeks, I feel a little bit better. We are done with the first twelve chapters, meaning we already received the reviewer’s feedback and replied and/or made changes. We are making final edits on Chapter 13, and we have both Chapter 8 and 14 more than half-done. (We realized that we missed something after we were already on Chapter 11, that’s why it is out of order).

After those two will be completed, we will only have Chapter 15 and a Conclusion left; those two are small and do not require new examples (examples being the most time-consuming part). It is still a lot, plus we need at least one Appendix and a Glossary, and some pictures clean-up. So, it is still a lot.

Christmas. On Thursday, I finished decorating sugar cookies, partially in the morning before work, and the rest – in the evening.

Today, I baked one more batch of Russian Tea Cakes because I suddenly ran out of them, although I baked two batches at the very beginning of the cookies marathon. Also, I tried one more time to bake pumpkin and dates cookies. Last year, I didn’t like the results, but though it might be because I used my own pumpkin puree instead of the canned one, and I thought that the problem could be in the wrong consistency. This yeat, I used preserves, but I am still not sure whether I like the outcome.
I mailed the last batch of parcels on Wednesday; all the rest will be hand-delivered. And I am very glad that almost half of the parcels had already reached their destinations.

774 cookies. 118 sugar cookies decorated. 18 parcels sent. 15 boxes of cookies hand-delivered so far (or ready to be delivered), plus one giant box for the youth shelter.
… Now, it’s time to start packing the non-cookie presents 🙂

In Chicago

On Tuesday, I went to Chicago, mostly to deliver cookies for several people in the city. I was surprised and delighted to see that they put up a Christmas tree inside the Palatine train station.

There is way less people n the train that in was in October, but still more than in March and April.

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