24 December 2009

Scan 7
Scan 14

The Christmas gifts were opened days ago [we are crap at keeping happy secrets from each other], but the tree was the big surprise this year. I think the mister is tickled to know I honestly didn't expect it.

Just Charlie Brown enough to be perfect; I am enchanted. And pleased. And turning quickly to a teary, happy pile of mush.

So I guess Christmas really is here. And I guess I'm in it.

Merry Christmas!

One big breakfast and I am down for the count.

(Hello, noon. I am already blissed out and sleepy.)

23 December 2009

A brief recap of tonight's highlights:

Overhearing this: You look like a lizard drinking water from a bird bath.

I'm going to have to work that into my rotation.


Tea and cookies with friends. And not just any friends, but dear friends who are leaving town in a month. [Portland! I shake my fist at you! You are a black hole that sucks in everything cool.]


A second look at How To Cook Your Life.


Guilt be gone.

I was thinking that netflixed movies and cups of hot, rum-spiked cider would make for a perfectly happy afternoon.

But lingering guilt about still not having my cards done (!) and what I thought was a nudge from the mister pressed me into Christmas-letter editing action. I sense a trip to the post office is in my immediate future.

I still believe I was on the right track with the movies and the drinking before noon. But I'm sure in the long run I will be grateful that I took the time to send my thoughts and love to family.

good mornin' Wednesday

22 December 2009

I've forgotten how many drafts we always go through to get our Christmas letter just right.
I've also forgotten how much I love peanut butter cookies.

Two important lessons recalled.

The mister and I sat until our bodies trembled from the caffeine, but still we did not start our Christmas cards.

I did, however, figure out how to work this ShakeItPhoto app. A small victory. But a lasting gift.

Scan 2

We are generally more agreeable when we're out on our bikes.

21 December 2009


I am a little surprised to find myself more enchanted by the magic of the solstice than Christmas this year. Or maybe I am in for a wondrous week.

Happy solstice, friends.

20 December 2009


My spirits are on the up, and here is why: peppermint bark.

It's a recent addition to my repertoire; I usually opt out of out anything in the minty genus. But last year, the planets aligned and not only did I find an open tin of peppermint bark (of the Trader Joe's variety) at my mom's house that practically invited attack, but I also discovered a recipe for what promised to be a truly decadent version of the bark on Orangette. My fate was sealed.

Here is what I can say: if you are feeling down about Christmas, or even generally not into it this year, go immediately to your kitchen and crush some peppermint candy. Seriously. Not only will it vent a bit of your latent hostility (you know, should there be any) but it will also infuse your home with the loveliest pepperminty smell. And render grinchiness completely impossible. You will be instantly fa la la-ing and harking heralds and jingle bell rocking.

What's more, that second layer -- the bittersweet chocolate layer -- will also fill your head with dreams. Once chocolate, peppermint extract and cream hit the pan, you will dream of the world's most luxurious peppermint chocolate chip ice cream. This was by far my favorite part of the recipe (if you couldn't tell). I see visions of peppermint bark spin-offs. And my hope for next year is to bestow pints of ice cream to those on my list.

There is a new air of festivity over here. And it all started with this.

Seriously good. And seriously magical.

19 December 2009


I have chosen to be a city mouse, rather than a suburban one. But sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on something quintessential about America.

17 December 2009

and full of promise

T minus three hours until my two-week winter break begins.

Please don't let this sniffling and sneezing I'm doing today be the harbinger of a flu.

16 December 2009

Scan 33

I will try leave my desk for walks so I don't entirely miss the bright. I will try to make the most of the sunset light that flits by around 3pm every day. I will try not to succumb to the warmth of my bed earlier than, say, 6.


It is lovely, though; isn't it? All these excuses for glowy lights, hot drinks, and cozy sweaters.

15 December 2009

a kind-of wreath

[These poinsettias may at first appear to contradict the story below, but I made them in last year's flurry of activity.]
[And still they wait.]

There has been a remarkable lack of Christmas around these parts. Which makes me think I have suffered one of two possible fates:
  1. I am the rube in someone else’s Christmas miracle story, whereby our personalities were magically switched during something as innocent as a handshake, say, and she gets to experience all the Christmas magic her usual Scroogy self has missed.
  2. OR

  3. I have been kidnapped by aliens and replaced with an android.
Maybe I should I back up a bit here. It’s not so much the lack of hall decking that has raised my suspicions, but it is the fact that I am unphased by said undecked halls that has me worried. Though I tend to the last minute – I have been known to wake up at 3 am to ensure Mom’s mantle was appropriately covered in coffee-filter snowflakes in time for the Christmas brunch that would begin at 9 am – I am a round-the-clock schemer of such crazy holiday feats. But this year? Not one scheme has hatched. There have been blips of ideas is all. And no wish to make them into anything more than that. No internal push at all.

Actually, that’s only half true. I am chock-full of internal push, but it is geared toward the longer term projects on my list, like:

sewing curtains for the kitchen,
sorting the stacks of books that now live on the floor and making room for them on the bookcase,
painting the bathroom,
unpacking that last, lingering box,
planting the little succulent garden that I have long dreamed of having live on my dining table.

I know: WTF?! I could be glittering and pom-ponning, festooning and wrapping for chrissakes! But all I want to do is nest. Not in the half-assed way I normally do wherein I unpack, sort, and put away most things (you know, except for the two or so boxfuls of miscellany I can't decide where to store), and not in the way that leaves a long list of uncompleted projects that I wistfully recall on my eventual moving day; I want to get it all done: art hung, tchochkes arranged, chairs placed just so.

I have ruled out a virus. I feel just fine: no fever, no clammy, no aching. I could also find reason to suspect my android theory. I’m sure a robotic version of me would emit sparks in the shower, or that the circuitry would get gummed up with all the food I dribble on myself and robo-Erin would end up lost in a buffering loop or some other telling slowdown, which I have not done.

Maybe I have been volunteered to beta test an altered, upgraded, 3.0 version of the holiday season that grants extra time rather than sucking every last second away? [Now that would be the stuff of legend.]

10 December 2009


It's felt impossible to squeeze in any time for introspection this week, what with all the going. But it's been so good it doesn't seem right to complain.

09 December 2009

Once again, an unexpected musical performance rescues my day from ordinariness.

08 December 2009


four cheese pizza and a slice of fudge cake with ice cream (which can magically transform any day into your birthday)

$1 tacos and pints of Bud on draft

Okay. It's been pretty good around here.

07 December 2009

me, today

I am finding ways to let go of my expectations and disappointments.
The small and ridiculous ones, at least. But it’s a start.

03 December 2009

leaf::quilt (apparently)

Apparently, Dick Cheney and I have something in common: calling a game before it's really over.

No sooner did I condemn fall to history than it sprouted again. Red and gold and delightful all anew [and click, click, click went my shutter]. So, here you go. The REAL last throes of autumn. Which I will conjure for your enjoyment also because it seems to wind the clock back a bit. Something we could all probably use right about now.

[Uff. My December to-do list gets bigger every time I think about it.]

01 December 2009


Holy crap! It's December.