Fri. Dec. 21, 2012: Yule

IMG_0742

Friday, December 21, 2012
Waxing Moon
Yule — Winter Solstice
Rainy and cold

Happy Solstice! Longest night, shortest day of the year. I’m looking forward to this evening’s ceremony, but there’s a lot to do before hand.

Yesterday, I took the last two platters over the bridge. First stop — the National Marine Life Center. I got to take a peek at the two seal patients — they’re now in the same tank. Townsend is as curious as ever. And Major Margaret — who was so badly injured that we weren’t sure she was going to make it — is now lively and feisty. Popped right up when we came in, leapt up onto the platform to wiggle over, dived into the tank to get as close as possible, clearly stating, “Where’s my herring?!” When you think how she used to just lie in her dry holding pen for hours and not move, seeing her playful and curious and dancing around is just delightful. It made my week! If you’re interested in learning more about both of them, go over to the NMLC site — they even have a webcam for the duo!

I also met the group of Kemp’s Ridley turtles in the other big tank. They were cold-stunned, and are now recuperating in the hospital.

After that little sojourn, it was off to Plymouth, to get the car inspected, and deliver the cookie platter to them. They were pleased (prepping for their holiday party later that night). They’re always so good to us.

On the way back, it was a quick stop at the bookstore to pick up the last few gifts.

Paula, if I know someone has dietary restrictions (like gluten-free) or allergies, I’ll either make something different for them, or not give them food. I always have a cheat sheet or a tag that lets them know if anything has nuts in it, for instance. This year, nothing did, so no worries, but sometimes a cookie will use almond extract, or, last year, I did the chocolate chip banana walnut cookies, and I made sure people knew there were walnuts in there. However, I have no time or patience for the self-righteous who pretend to be on a regimen, declaring loudly during the holidays they are carb or sugar-free or whatever. They’re doing that to make themselves feel superior and people around them feel badly. On top of it, they’re going to make the choice not to stay strictly on it, or, if they do, they make a lot of noise so everyone knows what a martyr they are. If they’re serious about it, they do it well before the holidays, and people know and can adjust; if, for some reason, someone doesn’t know and hands them something they don’t eat right now, the gracious response is, “Thank you! Have a great holiday!” and then passing it on to someone who enjoys it, or serving it when people who aren’t on a fake diet show up at the house. There’s a way to handle it so no one feels hurt or insulted, and far too many choose not to do that. It’s more of an issue in places like New York and LA, where people do this kind of thing as a way to get attention rather than an actual lifestyle choice; here, even if people adjust their diets, they usually give themselves leeway a bit during the holidays and/or are gracious if someone doesn’t know. I mean, I’m gracious when I go to people’s houses and there’s stuff I can’t eat, like shrimp. I just avoid it. I don’t make big drama out of it so the hostess feels bad. I’m making a couple of gluten-free and/or full vegan things for the party in January, just to make sure there’s something for everyone.

Speaking of which, I started planning the party. The invites are going out on Monday, even though that’s Christmas Eve. Or maybe Sunday. I kept thinking Christmas Eve was Tuesday — obviously, I’m having a problem tracking my days!

Decent writing session this morning. That book is set right before Samhain, and I’m having a bit of trouble switching back and forth between the holidays. Also, this weekend, I want to work on my Twelve Days of Christmas stories — I know what I’m doing for the partridge in the pear tree, and for the ten lords a leaping — it’s the other ten pieces I have to figure out!

And I’m working on my goals, dreams, and resolutions to post on January 1.

Today, I have to get out the companion handbook for Flash 7 and get “First Feet” ready for the free download. I want to finish the cards (I’m up to “s”) and get them out, and tidy up a bit — do things like laundry. Tonight is the Solstice Ceremony, and this weekend, I want to focus on writing and catching up with schoolwork.

Have a lovely weekend!

Devon

Two holiday Nina Bell treats — comic mysteries for the holidays! And a romantic comedy/fantasy twist on Yuletide myths.

Join “When Words Align” from Jan. 2-9 to get your WIP or revision back on track.

“Sensory Perceptions” will give you tools to layer sensory detail into your work, raising it to a more engaging level, as you create six flash fiction pieces and one longer piece. Jan. 2-Feb. 3.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


ice-encrusted light fixture by the front door

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Stayed in all day yesterday, except for the few times I went out to brush the snow that fell from the roof right onto the front step (would be good to have a little awning over the door, but that’s not my call). Wrote, read, enjoyed the season.

I’m thoroughly enjoying Alan Bennett’s UNTOLD STORIES. I’m a big fan of his writing anyway, and this book of diaries and essays is fascinating.

Designed, wrote, and delivered the thank you notes to the neighbors for helping me out by digging me out.

Had to redesign the party invite, because the template didn’t work with the notecards I have, but managed to do it. I had to wrestle the printer, though. I love Canon printers, and want to stay with them, but the MX860 is a piece of crap, especially the bottom tray, which is plastic painted to look like metal, and messes up special papers. I’d use the top tray exclusively for special papers, but you can’t always convince the printer to pull from it. I’ve complained to Canon about this model ever since I bought it, and get no solutions. I want my old multi-pass to get fixed and use that again, because it was a warhorse and a workhorse, and maybe just keep this for photo work, but I don’t know if I can still get the ink. I’ve got a stockpile, but still . . .

Anyway, the invitations are very pretty and will go out today.

Didn’t get much writing done, unfortunately.

Tried to light a fire in the fireplace for Yule. The smoke’s going up the chimney, so the flue’s properly open, but it’s also going in the house. Not badly enough to set off the smoke alarms, thank goodness, but enough to notice. I’m not sure if it’s my fire-building skills (probably) or what — the owner said the chimney was cleaned and inspected right before we rented. Costume Imp will have to figure it out when he gets here.

Speaking of Costume Imp, we are finalizing the plans for his week up here, and he’s already packed. We are very much alike in those types of aspects!

I looked at snowblowers online. I may get a small, electric one — yes, I know if the power goes out I’m back to using the shovel. But I need one that fits in the car and that I feel comfortable handling, and a lot of the bigger ones (besides being out of my price range) don’t seem comfortable for me to handle. I’ll have to play with a few today in the store and see what happens.

I also have to stop by my insurance agent’s to drop off the Allstate policy so she can do the official State of MA paperwork telling them to shove it, we’re covered with a better agency. I love that the state has official paperwork for that!

I contacted the Senators and my new Representative to introduce myself and voice a few opinions. Because how can they represent me if they don’t know where I stand on issues? I can’t expect them to be psychic. Anyway, within 24 hours, I heard back from everyone’s offices, very nice, offering to meet and talk to me about anything that’s on my mind, and giving actual responses to the content of my messages, so it wasn’t just robo-response. I was particularly blunt with Senator Brown’s office, saying I expected him to actually listen to his constituency, not goose-step the Republican Party line. He’s stepped out of the box a few times now to vote for things with which I agree, so it gives me some cautious optimism. I’m an independent — I’m an example of the type of voter both parties need to listen to, or they won’t keep their jobs.

MA will lose one congressperson in 2010, and NY two. I hope it’s none of mine! I was counted in NY, because that’s where I lived in April. And now I’m here, where they’re saying population has dropped (which, on levels outside of Federal funding, is just fine with me).

ALICE was rebroadcast last night, and I watched the last two hours. I enjoy that production so much, especially Andrew Lee Potts and Caterina Scorsone. Lots of really good work there. Makes me miss my actors (but not enough to go back).

The Hounds of the Baskervilles woke me up early this morning, baying at who-knows-what. Probably the moon. The full moon was gorgeous over the yard. There are also all kinds of tracks in the yard, including a set that come right up to the windows, skirt the house, and go to the back deck, but not on it. I’m not well versed enough in tracks to know what it is. It might be Imp Dog, it might be a small coyote, it might be a fisher. And there was something in the yard with hooves rather than paws, but I don’t know what. I haven’t seen any deer in the area since I arrived — they mostly stay on conservation land. Maybe a reindeer took a break on a training run! 😉

So, today is about writing, errands, and maybe getting some more unpacking done. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight, and they’re wavering as to whether the weekend’s big storm hits on Saturday or Sunday, so I don’t know if we’ll risk going to Maine. We might be better off tucked in here at home.

Back to the page. I want to play with a few ideas.

Devon