I had a real hard time getting out of bed this morning, no doubt because it was one. And I don’t mean “one cozy bed” or “one hell of a great dream I was having” or “one of those mornings I was feeling lazy.” Rather, it was one degree.

a/k/a 1º.

Not inside the house, of course. But even with the thermostat running, it was all of 59º at 7 a.m. Who would want to ditch the covers for that?! But I also didn’t want to laze the day away, so I suggested we build a fire in the basement.

“If ever there were a morning to take advantage of a wood-burning fireplace, this is it,” I reasoned.

Tara was game, and within 15 minutes, we had a blazing fire going and cinnamon Horchata-spiked mugs of steaming coffee to keep us warm. With mellow records playing, it was one of those feel-good perfect mornings.

Thanks to a recent stretch of weather that has actually felt winter-like, we’ve been able to make a dent in our woodpile and have had quite a few fires lately. There hasn’t been any more snow since that dumping we got eight days ago, but with temperatures in the single digits, there’s still quite a bit on the ground — at least in shady areas.

I fa-la-la-la-love it.

We’d originally tossed around the idea of going to Pierre for Christmas at the Capitol this weekend, but realized The Big Day is a mere week away now, and there’s a ton of baking to be done yet. Not to mention some last-minute shopping for stocking stuffers. Too much to do + too little time = chill weekend at home. But sometimes, those end up being the best kinds of weekends.

Speaking of the holidays, our virtual MS Teams party at CenturyCo took place on Thursday and was pretty successful. I’d been a little worried in the days preceding the event, because our guest emcee — a local country music artist — was a little, shall we say, rough in his practice runs. He hadn’t even been looking directly at the camera, but instead, off to the side, making it obvious that he was reading from a script (and honestly, blundering his way through it). But we helped coach him a bit, and once the party was live, he came through for us big time. Basically nailed it. Which was a huge relief, because I’d written the script for the whole event, so it kinda felt like my baby.

Our guest emcee nailed it during the virtual holiday party.

One of the highlights of the holiday party is the prize drawings. CenturyCo is pretty generous, giving away something like 120 prizes ranging in value from $100 to $350, which means a lot of employees end up winning something. Just like last year, they called my name for a $100 prize. Score! We can choose from one of eight prizes or a gift card. I had my eye on a Ring video doorbell, but while Tara is pro-video doorbell she’s anti-Ring, so I’ll probably take the gift card. I don’t need a cordless drill, don’t want an air purifier, and had no idea what Apple Air Tags were until I looked them up. At least with the gift card, I can buy whatever I want! And coupled with the $50 I won for my ’80s punk rock look, I’ve got a decent chunk of change to spend now.

Once the party was over, I finally felt like I could breathe again. As much fun as it was, it’s also a ton of work to pull something like this together, so the past few weeks have been a busy blur in the office. I was still pretty new last year so my role was limited, but this year, I wrote pretty much everything. Scripts, speeches, bios, emails, the official program. Now that it’s in the can, I can relax!…

…except for the employee and customer newsletters due at the beginning of January, not to mention the myriad other tasks. And I’m only working three days next week, so I’ll still be hustlin’.

Oh, well: job security, right?

And, as if I didn’t have enough writing in my life, I signed on for WordPress’s first-ever Bloganuary. It’s a month-long challenge where you receive a daily prompt to help you craft a post every day. Clunky name aside, it should be fun. I’ve done similar challenges on other sites, and even blogged on a daily basis here a couple of different Novembers, but it’s been awhile. I’m down for the challenge.

Sorry in advance for clogging up your In Box, ha.

19 thoughts on “One

  1. No apologies needed, I’ve been clogging inboxes for years. We’re finally going to get a decent snow dump… 6-8 inches due tonight. It never really feels like Christmas till that happens. Ho! Ho! Ho!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Due to “thermostat chicken” here in Los Angeles (my husband is cheap and I refuse to admit it’s cold), I’ve been getting up to a house that is 57 degrees. We don’t even have a fireplace (but we couldn’t use it even if we did, there’s a no burn order due to particulate issues)!

    Your 59 degrees sounds positively balmy, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Fine particles in wood smoke, also known as particulate matter or PM2.5, can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems such as asthma. California takes its air quality seriously-the no-burn rule prohibits burning wood as well as manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper. Gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are not restricted.

        It’s been illegal for decades to build a wood burning fireplace in most Southern California counties, both for pollution and for wildfire safety.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, that’s interesting. I had no idea! I had a wood burning fireplace in northern California, but maybe they have different restrictions there. Or maybe it’s changed…this was 25+ years ago, after all.


  3. I’ve never been one for burning wood in fireplaces because it makes me sneeze and my eyes itch BUT I do agree that it is pretty. I’m glad your event with your script went well. I’m not aware of WP’s January challenge but I’m sure I’ll enjoy your participation in it. [The link goes to Christmas at the Capitol, btw.]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You had me at cinnamon Horchata-spiked mugs of steaming coffee. That sounds amazing.
    But I did read through to the end. Awesome honor that you write all the stuff. And I know what you mean about job security. Busy time of year for me, too, and I’m almost positive I had that same thought a couple days ago. As nice as it is knowing that I’m good at what I do, I still sometimes have the incongruent thought that I wish others were good at what I do too (so that I don’t have to spend so much time fixing their writing and/or layout.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re getting an intern in January who will be helping out with some of the writing. I always have mixed feelings about that, especially having no idea what their skill level will be. But I figure, another warm body means a little less on my plate. That can’t be a bad thing!


    1. She says there are privacy concerns with Ring. They were bought by Amazon and collect your data? Tara’s more concerned about things like that than I am. I just assume that everybody collects your data nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been so grateful for an almost snowless Fall this year. But you better believe I fire up the gas fireplace in Sept/Oct until we turn on the furnace.


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