Monday, December 31, 2012

81 Candles

In honor of my mother's birthday, a few photos. Mom liked wearing hats. This photo is evidence that she started her hat wearing penchant at just a few months of age.

Mom's high school graduation portrait. Taken in black and white, this one 8 x 10 print was hand-tinted. She was a porcelain-skinned beauty, likely the only make-up she is wearing is a touch of red lipstick.

What don't I love about this photo! Mom is in Grandpa's lap, she and her sister Mamie in adorable matching dresses and Mary Janes. I love Grandma's dress and shoes as well. And Grandpa! What a rakish, handsome fellow he was! Taken in 1933, probably a family shot taken for Christmas greetings. The two copies I have are actually printed as postcards.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cutting Out the Middle Man

Here's the routine. I decorate the tree with lights and various ornaments. Then the cats knock the ornaments off the tree and chase them about until they end up somewhere they can no longer reach. Or until they become bored with chasing them. Whichever comes first. At some point I become weary of placing the ornaments back on the tree and simply begin to put them away. This year, just for fun, whenever I found one of these Victorian floral balls lying about I popped them in the top of one of these candle holders on the coffee table. It has been days and the cats have not touched them! Neither of them has even attempted to knock these decorations off of their highly accessible perches! Based on this surprising development I have made a major decision concerning next year's holiday decor. Bypass the tree and place the ornaments directly on the coffee table. So there.

Happy Music

Newton enjoying the dulcet tones of the banjo, as played by Reid. The banjo seems to have a similar effect to this. Such cultured cats. 


Now that we have arrived at that awkward stage between the Mayan NonApocalypse and the looming Fiscal Cliff, it seems we have been invaded by a tiny version of the Borg. We will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Wait!! Maybe the Borg have already been inside the Washington DC Beltway. This explains so much. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Submissive Hammer

This is Hammer. Hammer is Michael and Liz's puppy. Michael is holding a slice of my famous lemon cranberry bread. Hammer is demonstrating her immediate-butt-to-floor-that-looks-like-food-please-share-with-me-because-I'm-adorable stance. Michael did not share but instead took the opportunity to snap an adorable puppy pic. Yes. My lemon cranberry bread is just that good. It trumps the adorable puppy. Life goes on.

Open Letter to Newton & Einstein

These are the rules, fellas. Read. Commit to memory. Then, to the best of your ability, follow the goddam rules!

1. Do not, I repeat, do not, eat any of the various things about the house that were not designed for ingestion by felines. This includes, but is by no means limited to, wires, plastic bags, curling ribbon, rubber bands, plants and their parts (stems, flowers, leaves), holiday ornaments and packing materials, particularly those extruded thingys. 

2. I cannot stress enough that you follow rule #1. But in the inevitable likelihood that you do not, have the decency to at least keep it down and at some point successfully poop it out. I already scoop out your litter box so at least this approach does not result in me having to do more cleaning.

3. Believe me, I like to keep things simple and would prefer not having to even consider writing a third rule. But since I love you miserable, furry little monsters I recognize that if you don't follow rule #1 and gobble up something that is either toxic to you or will not pass successfully through your cat gut resulting in a blockage I must allow for a regurgitory addendum. If you must barf up said item, please do so on the hard surface flooring where clean-up is most easily facilitated. 

4. If rule #3 does not apply, please revert to rule #2. Even better, go back to #1.

5. I know that you are guys and a certain amount of Y-chromosome related behavior will be tolerated. This does not extend to any recreational peeing. Two litter boxes have been provided for this activity. Use them.

6. Feel free to rat each other out for not following these rules. Such behavior will be rewarded.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


On the bottom shelf of the coffee table. After last week's Chick-Mas party. A ghost of Christmas Past.


Of late Reid has taken to announcing his entrance into the room by making an avian sort of barking noise. It reminds me of Burgess Meredith's vocalization during his turn as the Penguin in the 1960's Batman series. So I call it his penguin noise. Reid calls it ganching. Which really is a word. Describing a horrible fall to one's death as you are impaled upon sharp sticks and pikes. It also means to speak in a halting, agitated way. Let's go with the second meaning. For many reasons. So. This morning. I'm drinking my coffee, working on the crossword. I'm softly serenaded with Christmas music by those hot Celtic Thunder guys. Reid enters, ganches, and describes to me in great detail a video game concept involving the elaborate and intricate lives of penguins.

me: That is some serious anthropomorphlphlphlphl. Zing.

Reid: Anthropomorphizing.

me: That's a diffdiff awk. Whatever. Word.

Reid: It's an awk-word.

me: Indeed. It is.

An hour and a half later...Now that he's read this post, Reid informs me that he was not talking about a video game concept. After an especially deep ganch, he said, that was a really big penguin, so like if you go down to the South Pole, he'd be the bouncer at the Penguin Club. All the other penguins would be inside the club making their mediumhigh ganching noises, but the one with the really deep ganch would be the bouncer. I stand corrected. I'm such a good mother. I hang on every word my son says to me. 

Also, in the previous paragraph, when I refer to ganching, that is actually Reid making the noise. Thank you.

A Long, Long Time Ago

In this galaxy. Not that one far, far away. I would not have realized that this was a Christmas pic if not for the message in the window. One advantage in having moved frequently while I was growing up is that I associate locations with how old I was. Making this our front yard in Aurora, Colorado, 1966. That's my first pair of glasses. Pink cat-eyes. Stylin'.

Skipping ahead to 1968, the family has relocated to Williston, ND. Note that the four of us are in the same positions from two years prior. At this time I have attained my full adult height. All my siblings will continue to grow. I could almost be used as a benchmark of sorts. Depending on my shoes. I'm in the back row with my brother Scott, Cullen and Martine are in front.

The following year we go absolutely crazy and switch up positions. Same house, and I want to say the same corner. Except there is a different picture on the wall to the left. Mom had a tendency to use nails that were already in the wall to hang pictures when we moved to a new place. And then never move them until we moved out. The tree was usually set up in the same place unless there had been some logistical problem with the location the previous year. Either way things are pretty darn crazy. Pictures moved, tree location moved, kid line-up changed. And we're in color! Crazy. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hose

If memory serves me correctly, my sis Martine gave me these festive holiday socks in 1979. Making it official that yes, indeedy, I possess socks that are older than you. How awesome is that. I'm wearing them today. You're jealous, I know. I would be, too.

Apocalyptic Irony

It seems that I have survived the nasty intestinal virus I was plagued with as well as the Mayan NonApocalypse. I didn't think the world was actually coming to an end, except for that late Monday night through Tuesday afternoon span of time. When I was in bed with fever, chills, and an angrily cramping abdominal area that sent me trotting to the bathroom much too often. It seemed entirely fitting, then, when I felt much better yesterday. The Winter Solstice. When the light begins to incrementally creep back into each passing day. I celebrated by putting fresh sheets on my bed and taking a long, hot shower. I also made tuna noodle casserole for dinner, the preferred Solstice, MnA meal. Upon waking this morning, without the slightest shred of nausea accompanying my return to consciousness, I had another celebratory thought. After five days of eating very little and pretty literally pooping my brains out, at least my weekly appointment with the bathroom scale will be pleasant! Ladies and gentlemen, I have gained 2.2 pounds. From this bit of annoying and seemingly impossible news I have come to a conclusion. I was built for the real apocalypse! I have such a sturdy constitution that I can weather all kinds of hardship and not lose body mass! Either that or I ate soooo freaking much last weekend that my bout with angry tummy syndrome was merely a good start on bringing my weight back into check. I'm going to agonize over this for a couple more hours. Then wrap presents. Maybe vacuum. Agonize a little more. Then try to figure out why the pink tree on top of the refrigerator isn't lighting up. One thing is sure. Next Saturday I'll remember to check for excessive belly button lint before my date with the scale. I'm not obsessing. Really.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This Post Is X-Rated

Sometimes, if you leave certain young ladies with, hmm, shall we say, a bit of a ribald bent to their sense of humor, unsupervised, it is very nearly guaranteed that inappropriate behavior will ensue. When I went into the kitchen there were three perfectly innocent unencumbered by gender pink sock monkeys hanging on the tree. When I returned moments later they were still hanging. But hung as well. If you know what I mean. AndiGirls! Whatever will I do with you. One can't help but laugh. But be warned, this only encourages them.

Day 4

Still spending more time horizontal than upright. Less time in the bathroom at greater intervals between visits. I discovered yesterday that my tummy was not quite ready for exotic food such as toast with peanut butter. Started out with a smoothie today, a much better choice. I did get out of the house yesterday for my hair appointment with Amelia. You just don't shirk a haircut, even when you're under the weather. Plus she does this terrific scalp/neck/shoulder massage that was therapeutic as well as enjoyable. So it would seem that even if I don't survive this miserable bout of tummy business, at least my hair will look fabulous. Newton and Einstein are still close at hand. I'm clad in my black and red penguin jammies today. The penguins are wearing assorted items of cold weather gear in pink. Hats and scarves mostly, but some are wearing short, cape-like thingys. I feel like I should know the correct term for that particular garment but can't resurrect it from the dark corners of my brain. And, no, I'm not hallucinating, I'm describing my pajama pants. Yesterday I filled up my car with gas. And for the first time in my life, I spent more at the salon than I did at the pump. Which I expect says something about the relativity of gas prices or frugality or that I'm actually a low maintenance type of girl who occasionally splurges on an Aveda product. It looks like a bright, frosty winter day out my window. One that I will likely not experience directly. If I'm stuck inside with a still upset tummy, at least I have cat company and a son who brings me tea. And the interwebs. Not to mention a fab haircut. 

12/22/12 -- There is a word! And that word, describing a short cape, is mantelet or mantilla. Which hit its peak in fashion popularity in 1957. The year I was born. I'm fairly certain there is no cause and effect between these two historic events. But you can never be too sure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Let's Pretend We're Besties

Reading this! Thanks, Andrea! Let's Pretend This Never Happened is many things. Funny, painful, brutally honest, funny, quirky, jawdropping. Did I say funny? And I'm only not quite halfway through it. I cannot begin to predict what might be ahead but I'm certain it will be worth investigating. Makes me feel like I had a Pollyanna-ish bordering on idyllic childhood. Almost sane and normal in many respects. For this, Jenny Lawson, I adore and despise you. And I love that she's an unabashed pottymouth. Makes me feel right at home.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Slippery Slope My Ass

This pretty much sums up how I feel about gun control. Anything could be a murder weapon if you put your mind to it. If you don't think so, you must not be watching any of the various offerings in prime time television with letters like NCIS or SVU or CI in their titles. My point is, there is danger all around us. And there are reasonable things you can do on a regular basis to live a little safer, not to mention longer. Wear your seatbelt. Use those oven mitts. Wear eye protection. Wear those bright orange and oh-so-fashionable clothing items when venturing out into the woods during hunting season. When replacing a light fixture, make sure that particular switch in the breaker box is in the fully off position. Short and simple, this is it. Outlawing assault weapons and large capacity ammo clips doesn't infringe on anyone's freedom. And the slippery slope analogy is nothing more than meaningless, emotional tripe used to rally support among our citizens who don't take the time to be properly informed on the issue. It is possible for gun control legislation to be written in very precise and specific terms. So allow me to haul out my tiniest violin to play a sad little tune for any of you who would cry foul at having your assault weapons taken away. They were designed for one purpose and one purpose only. For one human to kill another human. And that, boys and girls, isn't anyone's right.

A Tale of Two Tummies

Yesterday morning Karen and I set out for Sioux Falls in a flurry of snow. I was accompanying her to a doctor appointment. You know, that moral support, shopping and lunch thing us gals like to engage in. First off we did an hour-long procurement charge through Kohl's, which is always fun and productive. Little did we know that there would be no more shopping. And no lunch to boot. Never have I been so grateful for a bathroom a mere six feet away from where I was seated in the waiting room. The next twenty four hours have been devoted to a nasty bout of angry tummy syndrome. I shall spare you any further details. Karen was feeling a little under the weather herself so we decided to head for home. You know it's bad when lunch seems unimportant, or worse, unthinkable. We did make one quick stop at the mall so I could duck into Bath and Body Works for candles. But wouldn't you know. Cranberry Woods has been discontinued. There is some sort of inverse marketing scheme going on with me and B&BW. When I become enamored of a scent, be it candles or bath products, it's a sure thing those bastards will discontinue it. I know what you're thinking. If I have this much power I should use it for good. Karen remained seated out in the food court, she didn't think her slightly nauseous state would go well with the heavily scented atmosphere in B&BW. I quickly purchased a fountain coke with ice thinking that a little something to sip on might be pleasant. On the drive home I found myself wondering if my cooking made everyone from the party Saturday night sick as well. A call home to Reid, who ate more of everything than anyone, reassured me that he was fine. Immediately upon walking into the house, I dropped everything and went to bed. At about 5 in the afternoon. And proceeded to sleep for the next fifteen hours. Between obligatory and nasty trips to the bathroom. One rather sweet aside to this whole business is that Newton and Einstein have been keeping vigil from the foot of my bed. Steinie is a cuddler, so this isn't terribly surprising. But Newt is a little more aloof, and the fact that he approaches my huddled form and pokes at me with a paw at regular intervals is so very endearing. Now that I have successfully ingested a banana and some tea, I'm feeling pretty adventurous. Oatmeal sounds good. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Beer Snob

I love beer. And I wanted to enjoy one at intermission last night. But I was not able to due to the limited, and may I say, lowest common denominator selection available. Which means they had every lite version imaginable. With regular Budweiser being the only non-lite variety. This is where I rant. For freaking crying out louder than necessary, why wasn't there a single tasty beer on the menu? This was a world class musical experience attended by 1600 people! With craft and seasonal beers of many persuasions widely available, couldn't the Swiftel Center offer up some better choices? For those of you who are lite beer fans, I don't hold you in judgement. Okay. Maybe I do a little tiny bit. Just don't make me drink it! I expect a little more from a beer where flavor is concerned and appreciate pouring one up into a glass to view its deep, rich color. I'm not looking to drink on a calorie budget, either. I like a nice beer buzz and I don't mind investing in a delicious brew calorie or dollar-wise. I admit it. I am, indeed, a beer snob. 

I used the Snow Day winter ale label graphic without permission from New Belgium Brewing. It's my current fave seasonal beer. I'm drinking one right now.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Intermittent Internets

Last night we had sporadic, more off than on, internet access. I did the usual stuff. Excessive poking at the refresh button. Plugged and unplugged the router. Sometimes blowing on the contacts before connecting them again. Which I expect is akin to throwing a little salt over your left shoulder when you spill some. Not particularly effective but makes you feel like your mojo is working. I called our service provider about ten times. When I finally got through I heard a cheerful recording informing me there was a system-wide outage and that technicians are working on restoring service. It is quite amazing how productive one can be when not distracted by the electronic crack cocaine of the internet. Laundry, decorating, cooking and cleaning up after dinner, various neatening up and putting away activities. I even snuck in a pre-dinner nap! Of course I learned nothing from last evening. Here I am still in my jammies on the computer. But I'm going now. To be productive. Please miss me.


Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers. Tonight! Brookings, South Dakota. Get your ticket now and be there! Then join us for drinks afterwards. Oh, wait. We can have drinks during. But afterwards, too. What fun. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Welcome to numerical oddity Wednesday. Otherwise known as twelve twelve twelve. Say twelve out loud several times. A dozen or so ought to do it. Funny sounding word, isn't it? Sounds more like a verb to me. As in, wow, they really twelved that bowl of oatmeal. Or, do stop twelving the dog and leave that poor creature in peace! Do bear in mind that the creator of this blog, its followers, sponsors and fans, are in no way responsible for the mental images inadvertently suggested by possible inappropriate use of the word twelve. Move along, there's nothing of interest happening here. Have a nice day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter Has Arrived

Deck furniture with optional snowy upholstery.

With the exception of one year of my life, I have lived in the snow belt. And yet each year I am fascinated with how snow transforms the landscape.

Look, Something Shiny!

Einstein, 6 months old

There is a startling similarity...

Michael, 6 months old

...when you consider what fascinates...

Reid, 6 months old

...feline boys and human baby boys. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inaugural Friending

My former brother-in-law joined Facebook seventeen minutes ago. I was his first friend request that was confirmed. So that means I was his first Facebook friend. I feel so special. And a teensy bit weird.

Today, Outside

Back yard #1

Back yard #2

Back yard #3

Back yard #4

Front yard #1

Front yard #2

Front yard #3

Today, Inside

When preparing for indoor holiday decorating, it is first important to choose the right coffee mug. In honor of the first significant snow of the season I chose a classic dark blue decorated with snowflakes.

Little birds tucked into the greenery above the dining room table.

I have an entire room devoted to snowmen. Okay, it's not a really big room. Okay, it's an entryway. This view takes in about 75% of them.

This guy gets his own little nook with a tree and blue lights. To the left is my Christmas cactus which is sporting a dozen or so buds.

Yes, I have a tree on top of my refrigerator. A pink one. Don't you?

Table top in the guest bedroom that appears to have a green checks theme.

The biggest tree, in the living room. Featuring a window reflection as well as the lights from across the street.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fifty Shades of Boring

I tried to read it. Really, I tried. I got halfway through the first book and just could not will myself to go on. Maybe it was that I got annoyed with how they addressed one another so formally after having seen one another naked. Or that I was annoyed with her frivolous conversations with her inner goddess, a concept I take seriously. Perhaps because I think I've pretty much figured out how every single plot point gets resolved and didn't have the patience or attention span for two and a half more books. Wait, maybe it's because I dated a guy who wanted me to spank him and I thought that was about as erotic as cold mashed potatoes. Oh, and are we truly expected to believe that anyone could attain a college degree in the post-2000 era without owning a computer? It's poorly written, the characters are one-dimensional and I didn't care if they fell off a cliff into oblivion! It's filled with cliches that aren't interesting, blah, blah, blah. Maybe it's due to the fact that much of what is wildly popular, be it movies, books, television shows, fashion, simply does not engage me. Of course it has occurred to me that maybe I'm seething with jealousy and envy because I'm not a published author! Yet. No, that's not it. I feel that way when I wish I'd written something because it's so good, funny, eloquent, smart, fresh, brilliant, evocative. You can't make me read this trilogy. Not even if you tie me up with expensive ties or silk scarves and do unspeakably naughty things to me. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Piece of Cake

Sleigh Ride is popular song this time of year. And there is something about it that perplexes me. When those jolly sleigh riding folks experience that perfect ending to their perfect day at Farmer Gray's to celebrate a birthday, why, I ask you, do they proceed to pass around pumpkin pie with the coffee? This is blasphemy! Where the hell is the birthday cake? Hmmm? I am well aware that this isn't a Christmas-specific song, sometimes it is performed with the word Christmas preceding the word party rather than birthday. Even though overall it seems more Thanksgivingish than Christmaslike. It's one of those draftee sort of songs. Right up there with other mysterious imports like Joni Mitchell's River, which mentions Christmas but is about giving up her infant daughter for adoption. Now that's a toe-tapper. And why on Earth is My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music a holiday staple? Actually, I'm not a strict traditionalist concerning this time of year. How and why and what you celebrate is fine with me. The Winter Solstice belongs to all with its myriad mix of music, food and customs. Just don't mess with my birthday cake.

The "C" Spices

Several months ago, when the cumin and cinnamon were in identical containers, cinnamon went into the guacamole. It wasn't horrible or anything, kind of an interesting culinary experiment, but I wouldn't do it again intentionally. This morning, while cooking up a big pot of oatmeal, and yes, I have rediscovered that I love oatmeal, I did a double take to make sure I had added cinnamon, not cumin. Whew, I thought, as a distinctly cinnamony aroma wafted up into my olfactory. And while I am aware that cinnamon and cumin happily coexist in Indian and Asian cuisine, they just don't work together, or interchangeably for that matter, for this half Norwegian girl. Pass the cardamom, please.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bumper Sticker

Spotted on the bumper of a very filthy pick-up in front of me this afternoon:

The Big Bang theory is a hoax. It makes as much sense as an explosion in a print shop creating a dictionary.

I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Then I considered telling this guy about the monkeys and typewriters theory. Just to annoy him.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Welcome to My Monday

You can't fool me, Rachel. Your tone is slightly more dulcet, which is a vast improvement over the caffeinated shrillness of your previous incarnation. Your spiel is more friendly now. Employing the elusive allure of improvements rather than threats of impending doom where my account is concerned is almost engaging. Well played. BUT. Calling yourself Ann and moving to Charleston has not changed how I feel about you. I would like to stick my credit card in your eye.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Angry Nerve

Sometimes you need something to go away for a while in order to miss it. Other times something goes away and you're gleeful about it. Then that glee fades to the background and you're lulled into a sense of complacency. Then it, whatever it was, comes back. Reminding you of how un-fun the thing was to begin with. I thought I'd start with a long-winded generalization to test your patience. Isn't this fun? I'm typing about my sciatic nerve. The biggest nerve in my body. Yours, too, for that matter. I wasn't aware of the existence of this nerve until I was pregnant with son number two. When it got all compressed and aggravated due to the greatness of my swollen with child uterus. Which caused my left leg to ache miserably. Post partum things returned to normal. Only to return on occasions of sitting for much too long in the car or sleeping in an uncomfortable bed or standing for long periods of time. Stretching and ibuprofin usually do the trick, though massage and hot tub sessions really do the trick. But are pricey and not always available. So, along with the full moon the other night, who should show up in the most unwelcome sense while I was minding my own business sleeping? Yup. Mr. aggravated sciatic nerve. Whom I had not missed the least little bit. Which has gotten me back into stretching and doing some light weight work. A good habit I had fallen out of the last few months. And am now back into, which is a good thing. Anything to make the angry nerve pipe down and go away. To make room for blissful complacency once more. Which I like a whole lot better.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Music

File this under things I never thought I'd say. Or think. Ever.

It makes me so happy to hear Reid practicing his banjo! 
Such a wonderful sound!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The L's Have It

Again with the birthdays! My two favorite childhood authors were both born on this day. Madeleine L'Engle and C.S. Lewis. You can pretty much sum up what I thought and dreamed about when I was growing up to what they wrote. This preoccupation persists into adulthood, as I find myself returning to Wrinkle in Time, written by L'Engle after being inspired by the writings of Albert Einstein, on pretty much an annual basis. I don't know why I love this story so much! Maybe because it's sci-fi with a little girl as the heroine. A little girl who is pretty much considered an outcast and a freak. Then she saves the world. Okay, what's not to love! Which brings us to The Chronicles of Narnia. A series I have read at least a half dozen times. Fanciful yet frightening at times, Narnia was where I wanted to escape to from my own life. A familiar place to go when I was once again the new kid in a new school in a different town. Sci-fi and fantasy, the seeds get planted early it seems, at least in my case. And when planted by a couple of masterful writers like L'Engle and Lewis, how could you possibly go wrong. A pair of Sagittarians who found a mystical path into the imaginations of young readers. Almost makes you think there's something to astrology.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Esther!

My maternal grandmother, Esther Bleken Ruud, was born on this day in 1907. I thought it would be fun to post some photos of her. Above I believe is a group shot of her confirmation class. Esther is seated second from the left in the front row. She is probably twelve or thirteen years old.

I'm not certain of the reason for this studio portrait, but I think it may have been taken for the occasion of her engagement to my grandfather, Knut Oleson Ruud. If so, this is fall of 1929 and she is 22 years old.

Looks like all the ladies had fresh perms for this photo! I'm guessing my mother, in the back to the right, is around the age of eleven, making the year 1941-42. What a handsome family!

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The rest of the flock wanted hats, too. How could I possibly refuse them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CD Tree!

Sometimes in my holiday decorating frenzy, my desire to have a tree in every single room in the house can lead to dubious results. Witness the above photo from somewhere in the very late 90's. Armed with a string of green lights, a hot glue gun, damaged cd's that I couldn't throw away because I was convinced that someday there would be a clever craft use for them, a few feet of festive ribbon, pushpins and a bow, this is what I created, and I use the word loosely, on the home office bulletin board. Somebody stop me. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012


It's not Cyber Monday yet, but Cyber Sunday works just fine for me. I was just perusing the Barnes & Noble website. Looking at books, music, movies. Three of my favorite things. The first time I clicked on the Holiday Music link, I not only got over three hundred pages of assorted Christmas music cd's, but included in the sort was pretty much every album Billie Holiday had anything to do with. Essentially her entire discography. Holiday Music. Sure. I mistakenly closed that tab while checking something else and had to open it up again. And this is where it gets weird. This time when I click on the Holiday Music link, Lady Day has disappeared and in her place are various holiday cards and wrapping paper. Hmm. No weirder I suppose than the fact that Lynyrd Skynyrd has a Christmas album. Bugs Bunny and Friends have one, too. Some artists have two or three or a whole series of holiday music collections. At this rate, I expect someone who lives on my block has recorded a Christmas album. It's possible, I only had the patience for the first thirty-six pages.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get out there to put up the holiday decorations. I know, the extension cords take away from the magic just a bit. Much prettier once it's completely dark.

Pay no attention to those piles of leaves! Really, I'm not a raking slob, I'm more of a raking minimalist. What I do is heap the leaves over the perennials in the front yard. While a little unsightly, the leaves provide a mulch layer that protects the plants from the cold. We really do need a cosmetic layer of snow.

The animated, light-up pink flamingo and palm tree are back this year. Please, South Dakota wind, treat this tree kindly. It is held together with florist wire, dental floss, electrical tape and some tiny bungee cords. Note how jealous the flamingos in the background are feeling. They don't light up, they don't move their little heads, they don't have adorable little Santa hats.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dreams Coming True

Me with Kara, making dopey faces
Last night I dreamed I was pregnant. Which would have required at least thirty-five or so separate miracles occurring at the same time. But it was a dream, so let's just go with it. I was trying to figure out how to fit a baby into my current life and sitting in on a lot of meetings at some office where it seemed that I worked. Then suddenly I had all this extra skin and flab where the baby bump had been and I neatly rolled it up and tucked it into my pants and pulled my shirt down over it. Slick! Just like that I had a pre-preggo body once more. I woke up without having met my newborn child and felt just a little disappointed. Later when I checked in with the Facebook world, there was a request from Kara to list me as her mother! Sweet. Instant daughter. When I further considered that I had actually done that thing that's necessary to make a baby pretty much exactly nine months ago, it all began to make sense. This explains why I've been bloated and cranky and hormonal for so long. I have to say it was worth it.