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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon Red Shoe New Year's Eve

My transition into 2010 is a repeat of quite a few previous years - dog-sitting for the grand-dogs, Nikos and Cyprus. This is a good, socially and familially functional activity, and since I don't much relate to the frenzy of New Year's Eve, one that I am happy to fulfill.

This Dec. 31st, however, I found myself interested in a slightly richer experience. I bought some red pumps. To my memory, I don't think I have ever owned red shoes, and I have been jonesing for them for years. Many are the outfits I have longed to "pop" with some sassy red heels. I may just wear them to look at the second full moon this month.

This year - they are mine! Blue moon, red shoes -- I feel the planets aligning for a really awesome year. Outdoors, pups! Moon's up!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Carriage ride with the BBs

I love the Willow Glen tradition of hosting carriage rides in the Christmas season. Being horse-mad is just part of it. The lights on the stores, streets and houses are lovely, strangers wave, there's a feeling of being outside of every day life.
Tessa was agog, Jack a little unsure about the unfamiliar surroundings. And it wasn't the same as the ride last year. This time it was a flat cart with about 12 seats, drawn by a handsome white Percheron, and the 20-minute route was just up and down Lincoln Avenue. Last year, we rode in an open barouche, a four-seater carriage dating from the 1800s, pulled by a good looking bay, not a draft horse. Last year the ride was through the side-streets off Lincoln, through the residential areas where people go all out on their light displays. Actually, a better experience. But I'm not quibbling - there was a horse, 4/5 of my family were with me, and I loved it. Can't wait for next year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just a couple of ornaments....

I gave in to the pull of those pushy, sentimental tree ornaments, pleading silently from their nests of newspaper and more stylish packing materials.

Over the years I've delighted in clear globes, red apples, wooden musical instruments, fruits and vegetables and more recently,cooking implements and animals. And I've honored the contributions made by my daughters, whose pictures go on the tree every year.

Here you'll see Hedge-Pig, lower center, the coffee grinder up and to the right, and Owl, upper right.

The really old item is on the lower right, the three construction-paper rings that remain from a long long chain that my mother and I made when I was about 5. Now that I think back, this was at the small school for expats' kids in Belgrade (in the former Yugoslavia), that she and some other mothers started for the school-age children the of newspaper reporters and diplomats. It was 1949, in a post-war, communist country with no retail, no consumer goods, no Christmas. My parents and I were living in two rooms in a hotel. I have no idea what else we might have put on the tree, or where we might have found a tree...

Autumn in San Jose at Christmas-time

I really do love the climate here... there is an autumn and it lasts until summer, with just a handful of quite cold and wet days to make it winter-ish.

When I got home between trips to Target and Costco, I saw the deck-full of leaves outside the kitchen door. Such a lovely yellow on a rainy day. They're from my neighbors' bitternut tree (look it up - I did!) and they blanket my whole house, yard, deck, car.

Just as I was about to take the picture, Hendricks the drop-in cat inserted himself into the frame.

Ok, off to Costco. Should be fun... find your happy place, feel the gestalt, join the crowd, love the crowd....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Managed to get the lights on the Christmas tree before my back objected. I must say, is it wrong just to want the lovely, clear, white lights, and not all the tchotchke ornaments that I've delighted in collecting all these years? Do I really need the three-section faded construction paper links that I made in 2nd grade? The hand-made ornaments memorializing some of my daughters' least appealing boy friends? The several German pickles that totally enthralled me for about five Christmases? The tiny copper teakettle? The Italian Chianti bottle? Actually, why go to the trouble of putting them on the tree - they are all totally alive to me anyway!

Not quite Christmas panic yet...

Every year the trajectory of the Christmas preparations changes. Some years it seems nobody gets into gear until after December 15. Other years, by December 4th, people are crazed.
This year seems to be one of the slow lead-up years for me. It's the 13th and I have my tree up (craftily purchased during the 29-minute sunny interval in the rainstorm today) and I've finished my on-line purchasing. Feeling pretty frickin' smug, in fact.