I had a wonderful Christmas holiday. I look forward every year to spending half a week with my dad in Boston, and half a week with Mom and her family in New York.

First, I visited my dad and it was great! Man, he sure watches the news a lot. I think I watched more news on TV in three days than I did in the entire 2018. Not having a TV contributes to this “watching,” and I’d like to think of myself as moderately aware of current events. However, I got a little chastised for not being familiar with certain things, to the degree I started pretending that I knew about them. ;_;

Sorry, I’m too busy training, eating, and sleeping. If it’s major enough news, I’ll catch a headline or somebody will talk about it at the gym. Anyway, I’m a minimalist so I don’t care so much about items as the valuable time I got to spend with the people I care about. However, presents can be nice. I got some vitamins, gift cards, supplies I requested, etc. Thanks!

I drove to my mom’s on Christmas day, and enjoyed spending time with her and also my uncle, who is very ill. We had some nice conversations. He’s so interesting and smart!

One day, I found a historical museum nearby called the Walter Elwood Museum, and told mom I wanted to go. There’s nothing else to do in that town! Forgive me for saying so, but it’s like an industrial ghost town of the past.

with Mom outside the museum
an old phonograph
an old photograph of random loom worker

I learned that a lot of Lithuanians, Irish, and others immigrated to Amsterdam to work on ALCO (American Locomotive Company), and fabric looms, which is actually what my grandfather did after he got out of the army. My uncle told me that he told HIM the bosses used to put him on broken looms because he figured out how to fix them. Um, cool? He was a valued worker?

Lithuanian dolls and photographs

My mom’s side of the family is Lithuanian, in case you haven’t guessed. 🙂 I barely know anything about the culture. It’s kind of a poor agricultural country squeezed between Poland, Latvia, and Russia.

My aunt and uncle drove up a few hours south to visit! It was nice to spend time chatting with them! I wore my aunt’s hat and she took this great picture of me and my mom. You can tell when somebody’s smiling for a pose, and when someone is actually super happy. ^^ I can feel the love radiating out of this one!

My mom’s such a good human being. I went with her when she played Christmas carols on the piano in a nursing home! It was SO COOL and beautiful, and I got choked up when I tried to sing along I was so emotional! I’ve never heard her play anything except in the living room when I was a little kid running around.

My flights home were a nightmare. Thanksgiving was a nightmare of delays and cancellations, and I’m not sure why American Airlines keeps screwing up so consistently, but my flight out of Albany to Charlotte got delayed 30 mins. Then an hour. By that time, I guessed it would continue and I’d miss my connecting flight to Vegas, so I went downstairs (flashbacks from Thanksgiving) and booked a WHOLE new flight on Southwest, which cost me $600, as opposed to my $350 for the AA ticket!! I wanted to get home so badly, though. ;_; On my Thanksgiving trip, I had to spend the night in a hotel in Albany. So I went to Baltimore, and guess what? The flight TO Baltimore was delayed an hour, but thank goodness I made my connecting flight, which was supposed to be at 8 PM…and guess what? THAT FLIGHT got delayed TWO HOURS. So I comfort-ate for a while, which was bad for me but satisfying and entertaining ;_; . The flight ended up leaving at 11 PM, and I finally got home to Vegas at 1 Am, and walked through my door at 2! At least I got to train on Saturday! YAY!

jiujitsu open mat, kickboxing, and some strength training

Now things are kind of back to normal. I didn’t do anything crazy for New Years. I can’t catch up on my sleep like I used to!

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