Thursday, December 14, 2006

directions for addressing christmas cards

1. eat dinner
2. prepare tea
3. clear off table for illusion of cleanliness so that messes are less distracting (i.e., put stuff from table in chairs and shove under table to hide from self)
4. acquire dessert and have it standing by
5. play christmas music at suitable volume for christmas card writing--keep remote for stereo handy in case of phone call or violent mood swing
6. open card boxes and set cards up slightly for maximum efficiency
7. lay headset nearby so that phone calls do not interrupt writing
8. pull extra chair over for cats so that they don't jump into the middle of the cards to get attention and spill tea all over everything in sight(learned from experience)
9. put hippie in back room with computer hardware to avoid hippie-related distractions
10. write until carpal tunnel declares a cease fire

repeat 10 steps each evening until all cards are ready to mail.

if further instruction is required, please click on figure a, which has notes to clarify questions about the proper setup.

i also noticed that all the cards we have received from friends have snowflake stamps, all the cards from family have flag stamps, and all the cards from people outside our normal card-sending group have religious stamps. i have no idea yet what this means, but i am working on it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

around the house...

glass eye ornament, red and white
slowly, but surely i have been decorating for christmas. the tree is up and decorated, the snowflake lights are hung on the porch, the stockings are hung, the christmas linens are on the table, and the mantle is slowly filling with christmas cards. you should see the living room, however--stuff EVERYWHERE! i have to clean up from decorating
kitties under the tree
(i love unwrapping my favorite ornaments, but man, does it ever make a mess)! that's on the list for tonight, the first night without any plans in literally weeks. my whole plan is to address christmas cards, wrap presents, and blast my christmas music. if i can swing it, i may even make some cookies. worse than ever before, christmas has crept up on me this year. we have a ton of fun stuff going on, but man, it's a little over-the-top busy, too! there are so many things i usually do that i have just had no time for. i have amarylis and paperwhite bulbs, which i bought a month ago and have not yet taken out of the bag, much less planted. i need flowers on my table and wreaths on my doors. i am looking forward to next week, when the majority of my commitments are over and i can sit still. knit. finish things up. bask in the light of my christmas tree.

hippie's new computer, WIP
meanwhile, i am a widow to this ----->

christmas has come early for the hippie--he's building a new computer. he's so excited, and it's GREAT to watch him messing with it--he's like a--well--a kid at christmas! this week, he's left me for all his new hardware. tonight as i write out cards and bake, he will be tinkering and swearing in the back room and having the time of his life. all this frivolity comes at a price, however: the back room looks like this.

Monday, December 11, 2006

christmastime at the cedars

cedars inn, borden house

morning bath
this weekend was the last for our favorite B&B, the cedars in beaufort, nc. on sunday the last guests checked out and they locked the doors for the last time. since the hippie and i have been living togehter, we have gone to the cedars for weekend getaways a couple of times a year. they know us, and we feel like their house is an extension of our own, but without all the chores. the sad thing is that one of the owners have sold out for personal reasons, which we definitely understand. unfortunately the people who bought the inn opted to close it and turn it into condos, which just makes my skin crawl. we are talking about two VERY old and well-keps houses, one built in 1768, and the other in 1814. the new owners are planning to take all the antiques up to their mountain home, gut the insides, and sell them as 2 condos each. blah. luckily we were able to reschedule a few things and go down there for one last weekend. it was FABULOUS as always, if a little bittersweet. i'm actually glad we went for the next-to-last weekend instead of the last. i think i would have been too sad.

sleigh boat
by total coincidence, we happened to be in beaufort when the town was holding all manner of christmas frivolity. the shops were open later than usual, some with refreshments and drinks. and the best part was that went to the annual christmas flotilla, which was a blast! all these boats decorated to the HILT for christmas, sailing in from morehead city. people were lined up all along the waterfront 5 and 6 deep. a brass band blasted christmas carols while people laughed and talked and hung out, and there was more than a little drunken frivolity from the boat owners as well as the crowd. we stood outside and watched the whole thing and then went out for an excellent dinner at sharpie's, one of beaufort's many fine restaurants. we also did some poking about, some massive breakfasting, some meeting of strangers, some napping, and some sitting still. it was fabulous and relaxing and utterly the Right Thing.

here's my favorite picture from the whole weekend. you can click on it to get to the rest of the pictures if you wanna.


nevermind that it's taken me a whole week to get around to posting about last weekend. i'll get around to posting about THIS weekend sometime this week. i've just been SLAMMED, both at work and at home. i actually took friday off just to run errands--it's that bad.

how many days till christmas??! somebody send me some valium!

Friday, December 08, 2006

a holiday meme

WOW! i got tagged for something--this is a first. apparently meredith tagged me on tuesday and just realized it today. that should tell you something about how this week has been. i took today off just to get errands done. but anyway--i HAVE to respond since this is the first time and all. so--here you go: jackie's first meme!

1.Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate.
yes, please. maybe not one right after the other, but i love both! i like making both, and i like drinking both. yum. (i have some fabulous recipes if y'all want 'em.)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
who is this santa person of whom you speak? i busted my parents doing the santa thing when i was 4, and that was it for me and santa. however. all gifts should be wapped. also, ribbons are for tying.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
i like colored lights AND white lights. and i think you can take either one TOO FAR. i used to have some colored tree lights, but last year SOMEONE vacuumed the plug right off them, so now--the tree is white. i have twinkly lights inside the tree and white paperwhite lights from smith & hawken on the outside. outside, i just have lights for the porch--those are snowflake shaed and therefore must be white. but i like colored ones too.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
yes, if i make it to the farmer's market or my parents' house. i am a fan of kisses.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
anytime after turkey day.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
roast beast. mmmmmm...

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
getting lifted up by my daddy to put the star on top of the spindly cedar tree we always had. i remember the smell and the feel of his hands and the prickliness of the needles like it was yesterday.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
the aforementioned 4-year-old busting of the parents. i was determined to stay up till santa came so i could see him. and i did.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
absolutely. i open a gift every chance i get, and i am Very Bad at waiting!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
the hippie does the internal lights (because he loves me), and then i put everything i own on there. i want more decorations. no themes or anything--i just put ornaments on it. and any time i come across an ornament i like, i grab it, too. it's a total hodgepodge of stuff.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
love. love. love. snow always meant a day off from school for me to read and sled and make snow cream (and watch bewitched without having to preend to be sick). now it means making a big pot of stew and a fire and snuggling in with the hippie. as long as the power doesn't go out, i'm good. i really AM dreaming of a white christmas.

12. Can you ice skate?
um. no. i tried it once, and well--my knees did not have a good time.

13. Favorite Holiday movie:
love actually. also on the list of DVD contenders are the following: the family stone, how the grinch stole christmas (the REAL one, not that jim carrey nightmare), rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, the peanuts christmas special, holiday inn, christmas in connecticut. guilty pleasure: i really liked the first home alone.

14. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
i am a HUGE fan of christmas cookies. and pie. a thing has only to be homemade for me to want to eat it.

15. What is a favorite holiday tradition?
cristmas eve dinner with friends. i get to cook and have a house full of people and treat everyone! and then when everyone's gone, the hippie and i open our presents to each other.

16. What tops your tree?
a brand new russian glass thingy. but until this year, it's always been a light up porcelain angel i've had since i was 15. poor angel is looking a tiny bit rough, so i gave her a break this year.

17. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
giving!!! LOVE shopping for gifts, LOVE making gifts, LOVE wraping them up all pretty! what i don't love is MAILING, and i have to do a lot of it. i am always late--ask anyone.

18. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
santa baby by eartha kitt and anything ella fitzgerald sang. guilty pleasure: i adore elvis, especially singing blue christmas.

19. Candy Canes?
yes! the peppermint kind, please--i don't like all the weird flavors.

ok, and now, i get to tag people, too. I think i am supposed to tag 4 people. so, flaurella, allegra, laura, and kristen, y'all are IT.

sorry for the lack of posts. life is a bit insane at the moment. don't worry though--i'll be back! WITH pictures. :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

i have to admit...

i haven't posted in a couple of days, and it feels WEIRD after a whole month of writing every single day. all weekend, i kept feeling like i should be taking a second to drop at LEAST a little note to the blogging world. however, i was AWAY. the hippie and i spent the beach out of contact with the outside world at the beach. i even turned my phone off. bizarre.

i'll write more about he fabulous weekend tomorrow, but for now you get a little update:

1) my knee is WAY better.
2) my new dance shoes aren't going to make it in time for the last dance class of this session. DAMMIT.
3) i think i may need to move to the beach.
4) i didn't get enough knitting done this weekend!
5) i am going to go get my christmas tree tonight--whoo hoo!
6) lamb stew is FABULOUS when it's cold out. i'm just sayin'...
7) it's only 21 days till christmas, which means only about 15 days to mail stuff. holy crap!
7b) thank JESUS for priority mail!
8) this weekend is our friend mary's christmas party, which ROCKS!
9) my friend sonya bought me a pink poinsettia sprayed with silvery glitter for my office--it goes VERY well with my tree!
10) work is kicking my ass today, so i think it's time to go home...

ps--i was correct. i didn't win any prizes. good thing i wasn't holding my breath. *sigh*

Friday, December 01, 2006

the state of my knee

wow! huge and somewhat sheepish apologies for causing a panic with my offhand comment about breaking my knee. there's no need to panic, although i must say--i REALLY appreciate all the concern! here's the deal. when i was 13, i was kicked in the side of my right knee (playing co-ed soccer) by a giant of a boy who was not really in control of his long-ass arms and legs (he eventually reached 6'9"!), and my knee has never been the same. i have some weird stretched cartilage on the inside of the knee, a couple of loose chunks of cartilage in there that makes my knee all poppy, and my knee cap is a bit more float-y than it should be. add to this the fact that i am also genetically predisposed to have weak leg joints, and well--it's a mess. i've seen a couple of different orthopedists about this, and have been told by all of them that it's "not quite bad enough" for surgery. so. it's pretty easy for me to hurt it. and wednesday in our dance lesson, i wrenched it doing a tango move called a corte to roll-out, which involves a fast pivot on the leg in question. i was wearing totally incorrect shoes for this move, and they were just the smallest bit too sticky on the bottom to allow a free pivot, so stupidly, i forced it. the knee is not actually BROKEN, so perhaps i should have used a better word there. it's just really ouchie. REALLY ouchie yesterday, and pretty ouchie today. tomorrow it will be somewhat ouchie, and by sunday it will be mostly ok. however, you will not see me on a dancefloor till next wednesday, and here's hoping the proper dance shoes i just ordered will be here by then. so yeah--no need to panic, people. if a wild animal came after me, i would be toast, but other than that, i am mostly alright.