Thursday, November 29, 2007

And now, for The Odes of Horace

I'm feeling a little weepy this evening and needed a good image for my brain. This has been one of my favorites for the winter season. A fitting reminder that, though things may look bleak, there is always cheer to be had. I nearly added it to my Christmas letter last season...

Book 1, chapter nine

Behold how tall Soracte looms, and how white!
No longer can the laboring forests hold
Their snowy burden; streams are frozen,
Locked in the grip of the piercing coldness.

Dispel the chill air, piling the great logs high
Upon the hearth; unstintingly now bring forth
And pour the mellow, four-year vintage,
O Thaliarchus, from Sabine wine jar.

Leave to the gods the rest, for when they have stilled
The warring winds that battle upon the sea
The cypress is no longer shaken,
No longer vexed are the aged ash trees.

Whate'er tomorrow holds, shun to question now,
And what the day will bring, what of chance or gain,
Set down to profit; now in boyhood
Spurn not sweet loves or the youthful dances,

While from your bloom cantankerous age stands off.
Now 'neath the falling dusk, at the trysting hour
Again, again through field and courtyard
Let the soft whispers be still repeated.


Learn a bit more here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Are we there yet?

So, it took me a little while, but I made it back. I've been naughty and haven't updated in a while....SO sorry. I didn't fall off a cliff. I swear. I'm just a little slow lately. But, guess what? It's officially Christmas season! YAY!

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. We spent a handful of days thoroughly enjoying ourselves with Nathan's family. The children got away with numerous sweets in place of healthy snacks, the adults enjoyed numerous cocktails and festive conversation. Okay, we really talked politics and history...but that is just as good!

The turkey was stuffed, cooked, and chowed. Delicious. I love this season. We had the good fortune of visiting with old friends...Nathan clobbered us all at Risk. We were not surprised. Although, next year, I don't think he'll be allowed to play. Some of us would like to win too. Haha.

Speaking of good cheer, on Sunday we hunted, killed and hauled our Christmas tree home. Gillian, the little sweetie that she is, wanted to know whether or not the tree was hurt when Nathan was sawing it's poor little trunk in half.

[I've got to make a plug here. Hidden Ponds Christmas Tree Farm is simply perfect. They had peacocks to see, acres of trees, hot apple cider, goats, a kids playground...ahhh. That's the spirit! Not to mention that all their kids work at the farm as a college savings program. How can you not love that?]

Being the good Mama that I am, I reassured her that, in fact, all Christmas trees are just dying to be cut down and taken home for their once in a lifetime chance at decoration. Okay, I put it a little sweeter than that. Of course, then we had to discuss whether or not the Christmas tree fairies that protect the tree are offended at our brutality. Again, I assured her that all was well. The Christmas tree fairies have been protecting the trees for this very purpose and are overjoyed at their release from duty.

There's nothing quite as fun as hunting the tree. That is, of course, excepting the fabulous tradition of decking the thing out in all the tinsel, ribbon, garland, and multitude of ridiculous things on hand which we, of course, must partake in. Gilly especially. I've yet to see that girl more excited than when Nathan dug out the box of Christmas chotskys. Good gracious! Little boxes flew everywhere while she searched for her favorite ornaments. Sadly, in all the blessed hubbub, we lost one to the fairies of death. Broken. Poor little green, twisty, feathery ornament thingy. Gilly was very sad. But only for a minute. She quickly recovered and it was on to the next funny shaped thing-a-ma-bob.

So, when she determined that the tree was done (a.k.a. there was nothing left that might, in any way, be capable of hanging) we had some cocoa and admired the thing. Bliss.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

H is for Holidays

I am SO pumped. Really. I mean it. The holiday season is here and I am feeling it. LOADS.

Last year, I think we bought our Christmas tree a day or two before the big day.

This year, I was thinking about whether the tree farms would be open on November 1st. Not kidding. I have completely bypassed Thanksgiving and moved right on into Christmas. In fact, those Thanksgiving pictures posted at the right were just my way of pretending that I didn't really want to post a picture of Ebenezer standing in the twilight in the company of Jacob Marley. I'm not gonna lie, I've got the image saved on my desktop for when it is 'appropriate' to post. I am such a dork.

I have, thus far, successfully pushed away the urge to purchase mass quantities of tinsel and paint everything red. But I don't know how much longer I can hold out. The desire is beginning to creep into my daily life. Just this afternoon, I was staring out the window at work and noticed a few snowflakes.

"It's SNOWING!" I hollered at anyone who would listen.


Mostly, I got rolled eyes. Well deserved, as there were about four flakes whirling around in the air. Not snow, perse, but I have a very vivid imagination when needed.
Later, I daydreamed about what Christmas Tree crafts Gilly and I ought to do this year. We, of course, will make snowflakes for the windows, but what else? Hmmm.....

And, guess who's got every weekend in December scheduled for one Christmas activity after another?

You guessed.

That was a hard one.


So far, we're seeing Madeline's Christmas at a local children's theatre, the National Lutheran Choir at the Basilica of Saint Mary, The Nutcracker at the O'Shaughnessy, A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie, breakfast with the elves at the Swedish Museum...let's see...anything else I can fit in?

And you know there's going to be sledding, skating, and hot cocoa in our future. Just as soon as the snow cooperates. Heck, if it doesn't, I might do it anyway. I'll look a little ridiculous, but that's not new, right?

OhMiGosh. I've got it bad. I'm sitting on the couch, as we speak, thinking how nice it would be if I had a cozy red blankie to snuggle and a pillow with sparkles. Meanwhile, Gillian keeps running in here to ask me what I might like 'if' someone were to make me breakfast in bed for a 'present' and then running back to the kitchen to report the answer to Nathan. I can hear them discussing...too cute.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


...Check your mail!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

...a little late.

I love this card. My sweet sister-in-law sent this last year.

I stink.
This is SO after the fact, but, whatever.

September conversation in the household:

Nathan: Hey! Gilly! What do you want to be this Halloween?

Gilly: Athena (goddess of wisdom, for those not greek), Daddy! You be Zeus and I can spring out of your head with a spear! Mama! Do you have a spear?

Mama: Uhhhh...No?

Gilly: Where can we get one?

Mama: Uhhh...nowhere? Use your finger!

Gilly: Mama, you're going to be Hera (known well for her terrible temper and ugly, jealous rages). Kay?

Mama: Uhhhh. No?

P.S. Sorry I've been so slow to update! I'll explain why tomorrow...