I didn’t mention it but – obviously – I didn’t finish my novel. In fact, I only got about 5500 words. I quite liked my plot and the characters but that was just it: all I wanted to do was write brief scenes with these people and capture feelings, fleeting moments. I could never seem to string it all together into something coherent. I had all the pearls but none of the necklace to hold them in place. Maybe next year I will have the time and/or the energy to finish something of substance.

Meanwhile, I still feel like creating those moments that hold the essence of a feeling. For instance, just a moment ago I walked out into my living room after taking a bath (and perusing the Target catalog that came in the mail). I felt so warm and cozy just standing there before the tree, even though it’s a fake

And I wanted to bottle up that moment and hold onto it. I love when the tree is up and I can sit on the couch under some blankets (and thereby, also some dogs) and enjoy the lights. I remember being a kid and my mom pointing out that if you squint at the tree, the lights blur and you get this cool effect. I found out that my camera has this cool light effect setting that almost replicates it.


I also set up my little village. I don’t really have room for any more but I am sure someone will buy me another building this year. Once you start, it becomes a tradition; and an easy gift idea for family members. I like to think of how happy everyone is who visits these little shops, in the imaginary world of Dept. 56. xmas-village-08My favorite is probably the laundromat that is attached to a book store. So, you know, while you wait for your clothes to dry, you can peruse the newest biographies. Once you find one, maybe the shop also has a little bistro where they serve coffee and pasty and for that couple hours it takes to do laundry, you can enjoy the warmth inside, away from he snowy little village, and be thankful for all you have. It’s the only time I wish for snow. Otherwise, I am happy with our (relatively) cold temps here minus all the snow shoveling and frozen pipes. (Though, that has been known to happen. It happened to the bathroom pipes in CompUSA one winter.)

I am usually pretty torn emotionally around this time of year. On the one hand, I take time to count my blessings and be happy about my life and its quality. I have it pretty darn good these days. Conversely, I sometimes feel so sad about the end of the year, the constant cold, the excitement of the holiday/shopping season that will soon end and oh, then what will I do? It’s the anticipation of family and gift-giving and frenzied everything followed by the dull let-down thereafter that makes me dread the end of another year. But like all things, I must go into it bravely and knowing that I’ll come out on the other side all right.

So, what is your favorite thing about Christmas? Be it big or small, I’d love to know.

Positive, heavenly bodies, Boy update

This morning, Elliot had his 15 month check-up. FINALLY, he’s in the 5th percentile for height and weight. For months, he’s been negative fifth. He has always been proportionate but he’s a little kid. My boy packs away the food too. The people at day care are always reporting that he eats more than they ever imagine. Alas, his status has nothing to do with his input of food. Merely, it’s his genes. Poor thing. He’s lucky in other areas I suppose. Who knows how kids will turn out, anyway.

Last night, I was driving up to CVS to pick up a prescirption and I happened upon the Moon/Jupiter/Venus triad that was showing itself for the last time in my lifetime at least. Pic here. It looked roughly like this, though it seemed brighter when I laid eyes on it. On my way back, I looked for them in my rearview but it had clouded over and they were gone. Just like that. So fleeting are these tiny moments.

And now, because I can’t think of anything else useful to offer you in this post, some things the Boy is doing these days:

  • Dance. Yeah, if a song comes on, he’ll sort of sway a bit then do these little knee bends. It’s ridiculously cute.
  • Give hugs. When I get home and he and Ash have just gotten in before me, he’ll see me coming and run up and throw his arms around me and actually squeeze.
  • Stack things. Well, not blocks necessarily but he’ll get the three dog dishes, pull them apart and restack them. He also does this with his bath toys that are little stacking cups.
  • Brush his teeth. Ok, well, he’s letting ME brush them but when I say, “brush your teeth?” he’ll look at the cup where  we keep his brush and point.
  • Use a spoon. He cannot scoop up the food on his own but if I do it, he’ll pick up the spoon and feed himself, then plop the spoon back into whatever food.
  • Hide and seek. He now hides himself behind the living room curtains, waits for us to say, “Where’s Elliot?” and then he’ll pop out at us. And this cracks him up like nothing else.
  • Say “banana” but it’s more like a demand. It began as a question. Then became a demand. Sigh.

That’s about it for now; I know there’s plenty more but I’ve been super busy at work which equals a pretty mushy brain. So here’s a question for you: White lights or Colored lights? (On the house or the tree, doesn’t matter.)