Just for an overview of the week:
on Solstice, my husband’s sister joined our celebration. Brenda and I made pizza, sis-in-law and Joel built a snowman on my balcony (named Happy) and the nasty cold I contracted last week provided lots of interruptions. I stopped to cough… a LOT. We had a good time, and while not the most ceremonious of ceremonies, it went well given the mixed company. Brenda’s husband joined us later, and he got to try the egg nog. He even masked his disappointment when said drink contained no alcohol whatsoever.
The cough has continued throughout the week despite copious draughts of sage, my mullein/hyssop treatment, honey (went through two jars) resorting to homeopathy (in this case, does NOT work, in some cases it does for me) and early use of Zicam. For a little while exposure to the outdoors seemed to stop all symptoms but this no longer seems to be the case, although admittedly the outdoor cough only manifested when in a parking lot next to a busy highway.
Sis-in-law stayed over last night, and today we all took the trip to Iowa together in our Yaris. I am still facing the reality that it really is a smaller car than the Ford – and the Escort, not exactly huge. I found the sibling politics between Mike and his sister amusing, but strangely disturbing. The bathroom angling was funny. The reality of Mike’s male privilege got spelled out pretty well, though, and while his peculiar old fashioned values have led to the highest amount of privilege I have ever experienced, I kind of got mad for sis-in-law about the amount of crap he got away with and care he got just because he’s a dude. None of these attitudes are conscious in his family, they just are. I consider it some side effect of being Iowan. It merits further examination, although it will come at the price of a very annoyed husband and lots of “I am not!” assertions. Probably won’t stop me.
In an act of desperation, I looked up acupressure for handling coughing fits last night. The pressure point thing works (I already knew it did) but given that I suffer from chronic urticaria, it does have the unfortunate side effect of an obvious pressure rash, especially as often as I was stopping the fits.
We did the gift exchange with Mike’s family tonight – I was given a baking pan from mom-in-law and a smash and chop from sis-in-law. Apparently, they associate me with cooking. I guess that makes sense. My mother-in-law always comments on my baking posts on Facebook; she doesn’t bake but it apparently fascinates her that I do. Given my general demeanor I can see how my domestic skills might seem a bit out of place. Food is apparently the safe place.
At some point, I’ll post on my thoughts on celebrating holidays that no longer belong to me. In the meantime, here’s an essay I wrote on Yule many years ago. It was a fantasy, and my family’s real life reaction was much more disappointing. Still, it’s a nice thought from a person I used to be, a very long time ago.