Monday, December 28, 2009

Crafty Nightmare

There is an epidemic around here, and it's not the flu, swine or otherwise! What we have is a rampant rash of really weird dreams. Today Colleen was sharing her crafting nightmare where she engaged in underwater origami. Which I'm certain will be the next trendy wave in crafts, classes organizing soon at a Hobby Lobby near you. So frustrating, she said, how the paper kept tearing. You just can't achieve a nice, crisp fold with soggy paper. Underwater origami. Hey, that would be an excellent name for a rock band!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

White on White

The cheery, white view through my patio door. There will be no grilling any time soon. Hibernation, anyone?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Big Boys With New Toys

Reid with his DS Lite, probably playing around with Scribblenauts. Michael and his Droid, probably taking over the world. Big boys and their electronic toys. Sometimes Santa brings just what you want. You may get too big to sit on his lap and whisper in his ear, but you never get too big to believe in the possibilities. And, yes, Virginia, that's what it's all about. Unless it's the hokey-pokey. And that would be a great disappointment.


How many people dreaming of a white Christmas are required for a winter storm of this magnitude? You do the math, I'm too full of cookies to think. Listening to James Taylor dueting with Natalie Cole on Baby, It's Cold Outside. How appropriate. The boys and I have all retreated to separate corners to engage in internet activities. We are happy to be inside where it's warm and there are cookies and cinnamon rolls and chocolate and all variety of things that are drinkable. Last night I opened a bottle of 7 Deadly Zins and consumed half of it all by myself. It was yummy. Which means I have half a bottle of yummy to go! We feasted on salmon and basmati rice and broccoli with lemon butter and fresh-baked dinner rolls. We opened gifts and watched a movie and stayed up late. I'm still wearing my new pink penguin jammies. Well, I'm not going anywhere, so I thought I'd be comfy. It's a casual dress Christmas stirring about this house, no ties or pantyhose required. The trees are all lit and the pink flamingo and palm tree in the front yard are peeping out of a massive and still growing snowbank. Next up is home-made pizza and I should think another movie is in order. This has been a quiet and enjoyable holiday. With any luck, I won't have to go anywhere until Monday morning when it's time to go back to work. That will roll around much too quickly. I hear the Zin calling and am unable to ignore it's cry! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Believe in Santa!

At some point yesterday, between 8:30 in the morning and after five in the afternoon, Santa left a little something in my locker at work. I am completely baffled as to who it might be from. I have queried the usual suspects, and nobody is owning up to this lovely little gift. The funny thing about it is that this isn't a random sort of cute thing. The plaque is so me, so how I live, so how I think and feel. And the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares, they just happen to be my favorite seasonal treat. My mystery Santa Claus either knows me very well or reads me very well and has made a couple of right-on choices. I am delighted and perplexed. So thank you, you know who you are. I haven't a single clue to go on, not even a handwriting sample. As you can see, the attached card is blank. I love presents. And surprises. But anonymous gifts make me crazier than I already am!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Solstice Serenade

Tis the Solstice night! The longest, darkest night of the year here in the northern hemisphere. I believe a glass of wine and a little holiday music are in order! For those of you who have had your fill of holiday music, you should probably flip over to the sports page. For those of you who just can't get enough of seasonal tunes, read on for my short list of favorites.

The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003)

Ian Anderson's take on traditional carols as well as his own material. It just sounds like a classic Dickensian British Christmas. Takes the chill off like a nice cup of warm mead. Makes you want to spend the holiday in a castle, if only one was available.

SheDaisy, Brand New Year (2000)

Sisters Kassidy, Kelsi and Kristyn Osborn do a lovely job on a number of songs. Their signature harmonies are delightful and their takes on the familiar are, well, not so familiar. Which is why I like it so much! They save a beautiful a capella piece for the very end, and they make you wait for it. There is a full three minutes of silence after what you think is the final track, and then dessert.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Vince Guaraldi Trio (1988)

This is the original soundtrack for the beloved CBS television special that first aired in 1965. Love, love, love it. I can't stop myself from dancing about, especially with track 4, entitled Linus and Lucy. You know, that odd little dance move where you toss your head from side to side while doing a little shoulder shrug. Go ahead. You know you want to. Nobody's looking.

Amy Grant, Home for Christmas (1992)

I can't say that I'm an Amy Grant fan. I'm just not fond of her music, not the fluffly pop secular stuff, not her contemporary Christian music. I can't properly explain why I like her Christmas album. I just do. Proving that one doesn't have to be a Christian to appreciate the songs.

Patrick Stewart, A Christmas Carol (1991)

Two cd's, nearly two hours. That's right, it's Captain Picard performing Charles Dickens' timeless Christmas story of the transformation of one Ebenezer Scrooge from skinflint to generous soul. This is a studio recording of his critically acclaimed one-man Broadway show. He does a wonderful job with the story which he adapted for the stage, does all the voices, truly makes it come alive. For several years, back in the married days, we would send the boys to the family room on Christmas Eve with a new movie to view. Then pop the cork on a bottle of champagne and feast on smoked salmon and shrimp while listening to this masterful storyteller. I know, it's not music, but it certainly fits the season.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Holiday Jam, that is. I'm a sucker for event tshirts, particularly when the proceeds go to a good cause. In this case, the funds raised through the sale of tshirts as well as actual jam in jars went to the Backpack Project, where food goes home with a child in a backpack for over the weekend. As you can see, my cat Einstein is showing considerable self control in leaving the tree decorations alone. How was Holiday Jam, you ask? It was an amazing, unconventional seasonal smorgasbord of music. It was jazzy, it was rock-n-roll, it was a full tilt, toe-tapping experience. I enjoyed it immensely!

Queen of Trees

The main tree, the blue decorated tree in front of the living room window. The brightly lit snowflake serves as a beacon for me as I attempt to find my house when I come home after dark. At this time of year such a decoration is gaudy as well as useful.

This teensy little tree almost doesn't count, but I'm counting it anyway. On top of a cabinet in the living room, it's a teensy living room waiting for Santa's arrival. If you're curious about scale, the little teddy bear under the tree is about an inch tall.

Tree number three is on a table in the guest bedroom, known to many as the Bunny Room. The name is accurate as the room is decorated in a rabbit centric theme. Professional decorators caution against ever doing a theme room, but I always say, where's the fun in that? Note the fuzzy little bunny ornaments on the tree. I created them myself several years ago when I could not locate appropriate sized rabbit ornaments. It was great fun drilling the holes in their tiny fuzzy heads to accommodate the hanging hardware.

The kitchen tree is pink! The lights are pink, the bows are pink, the skirt is pink.

This golden tree sits atop the dresser in my bedroom. If I forget to unplug it at bedtime, I end up having to get up later to shut it down, it's just too bright to sleep with it on!

The very festive all red tree in the family room. I have a lovely view of it from where I sit typing at this very moment. That makes six trees in all. I could have done more, but stopped at six this year. I have heard about a couple of truly crazy women in the area who put up as many as thirty decorated trees! Six makes me feel festive, as well as relatively sane.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Festive Fashionisto

My son, Michael, who seems a little unsure about what to do with the Christmas tree skirt. Or, perhaps just a little too sure. He's very comfortable with his masculinity. And undoubtedly, Liz will think this is terribly cute. Vogue!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's a Tree-vesty!

This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a tree. There is not one little bit of tree-ness about it, except for the fact that it is brown on the outside, just as many tree trunks are. It is, however, oval. Ovoid. Eggish. Have the Hershey people gone round the bend and think it's Easter rather than Christmas!?!? Equinox instead of the Solstice? This is not a tree! It is delicious. Particularly the white chocolate variety. Which I suppose then includes the aspen and birch hue in the bark color spectrum. At the very least, they could have impressed upon the chocolate some semblance of a tree-like indentation. Or hung tiny lights and tinsel ropes upon it. Or outfitted the thing with a Santa hat to firmly associate the confection with the season at hand. Once again, with feeling, this is not a tree! So as a public service, I will eat every last one. I really ought to save one so as to compare it with the actual egg version that will appear this spring. If I possess the self control. On the other hand, I did take a picture. Mr. Hershey will thank me for consuming the evidence.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cold Feet

Sometimes it's hard to find my slippers. So I go looking for my glasses. Which are difficult to find without my glasses. Which is why I almost always put my glasses in the same place when I remove them for the night. Except when I don't. I've considered wearing them all the time but I must say they are not all that comfortable to sleep with. Then they get all bent out of shape and I just don't have time to be running to the Optical Shop to get them expertly bent back into shape. Now that I have my slippers and my glasses, it's time to decorate. And I'm strictly limiting myself to a maximum of seven trees. Or eight, depending. But eight is the definite maximum. Unless putting up nine seems reasonable.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And Closer Yet!

As the plot thickens, I have now abandoned internet dating, perhaps because I met a really cool biker dude on eHarmony, and have relocated to a cave in Utah. Oddly, when I was internet dating, it was remarkable how many men mentioned in the first sentence of their profile how much they loved their Harley. Sometimes they even posted a photo of themselves with their bike. Or sometimes just the motorcycle. Or boat. Or restored automobile. It's not often that I see my name in print, so I'm thinking that it's very odd that the same comic would use my name twice in less than a week. Maybe I'm suddenly trendy. Maybe Mr. John McPherson has taken a liking to it. Maybe he lost a bet. Maybe there's a Carla in his past he's settling some score with. I can't wait until he uses my name in conjunction with pink flamingos. Or faeries in general, Tinkerbell specifically. Maybe Carla will next be a crazy old cat lady living with a dozen or so felines. Three's the charm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Too Close to Home

I'm just a tad bit confused. Would this be irony or satire? Though for me personally, at five feet, four and a quarter inches tall, a fellow's height has never been much of an issue. Normally I'm only taller than people under the age of twelve or a small percentage of other women. This comic, however, serves as a reminder of why I don't do the internet dating thing any more. There's just too much potential for dishonesty. I remain hopeful, though, and I'm still toting that bright green condom around. Ya gotta have faith. And faith without desperation is much more attractive than, well, with desperation. Which makes me wonder if John McPherson, the author of the above, has some internet dating experience himself. And if he was honest about his height. Or his weight and age. Let's just hope he doesn't have a criminal record, or perhaps, gasp, a comb-over. Why don't we just go with hoping he has a happy marriage. Including kids, a house, a dog and a yard that needs some attention. And perhaps a very attractive, heterosexual, employed single best guy friend who shares with him all his internet dating woes. That he would be happy to introduce me to. I wonder if the man Carla is measuring has a name. Personally, I'd be more concerned about those striped pants than his height.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Where the Heart Is

I've had to consider this one for a few days. On the surface it wouldn't seem so meaningful, but like an Indigo Girl, there I go digging too deep, I always do. Some dreams are so very real in nature and set in such familiar locales that it feels like you have been there in the flesh rather than just the neurons. Thursday morning I woke just a minute or so before the alarm went off. I blinked myopically a couple of times and thought it was odd that the closet doors were closed. Normally, the closet doors are closed! It was the startling electronic beep of the clock that made me realize I had been dreaming. About cleaning out that very closet. Allow me to explain. For four years now, I've been sleeping alone in what is chauvenistically referred to as the master suite. I tried calling it the mistress suite, but somehow that doesn't sound quite right either. But I digress. It is a bedroom built for two with a private bathroom and his and hers closets at either end. The hers closet being just ever so slightly larger. It started out a whole lot larger than the his closet when I was designing the floor plan, but when I decided I needed, yes needed, the larger bathtub separate from the shower, some closet space had to be relinquished. When my soon-to-be ex-husband moved out four years ago, he vacated the his closet. And since nature abhors a vacuum as well as unused closet space, over the ensuing months my stuff migrated over to eventually fill the his as well as the hers closet. In my dream, I wasn't merely purging unwanted clothing and footwear from the his closet space. I was clearing it out, leaving it completely empty. Just before I woke up, I was standing back, pleased with my efforts, the closet doors flung wide open to reveal the available space within. Which was why I was surprised to see the doors closed when I awoke. So I'm left with wondering if I need to actually physically remove my things from that space, or if it's enough to recognize what I now realize. Instead of the full moon madness, full-tilt exhausting dreams that I normally experience, I've had a gentler, more revealing peek within my own head. And I think I just might be telling myself that it's time to receive. This is a blue moon month, and I believe something extraordinary could happen, something I wasn't ready for until now. My heart, and my closet, are open.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sominus Interruptus

The room, a lovely temperate 65 degrees. The pillow is poufed up just right. I am nestled under a billow of comforter with Einstein cuddled in the crook of my knees. My flannel nightshirt is so old and soft from a hundred launderings, it feels as if it almost isn't there. It is dark, save for the bit of moonlight filtering through the black sheers on the window. I am slipping off into unconsciousness. Ahhh, slumber is mine. Then, ffweeee. ffweeee. ffweeee. Damn! There's a whistle in my nose! I try to ignore it. And can't. I do a little rapid in-out, in-out accelerated breathing through my nose, in an effort to dislodge the nasal tweet. ffweee. Aggravated, I abandon my cozy bed-nest in search of a kleenex. I blow and wipe with gusto and thoroughness. The whistle is gone, but so is my dreamy drift-off. I crawl back into bed with a spare tissue in my hand. If the dreaded whistle returns, I am prepared to deal with the miserable little ffweee. Tonight, all I will have to deal with is the full moon madness dreamfest. Wish me luck.