Friday, December 26, 2008

One Christmas Down, One to Go

Our family seems to have gotten in the habit of having Christmases on multiple days, or on days other than the 25th of December. I've lost track of ho many times I've been flying on Christmas (no lines!) and exchanged presents the next day, instead.

Christmas 1 (Dec. 25th) went over wonderfully this year. The kids were just about bouncing out of their skin to put up their stockings, and calling out, "Is it time to get up yet?" scarcely half an hour after we put them to bed. Once it was time to get up, Fiona bounded up the ladder to our bed and so sweetly invited, "come have Christmas with us!" before crawling over to give me a backrub (both Fiona and I are totally backrub people). It was wonderful way to wake up.

Christmas 2 (Dec. 27th) starts in a few hours, with Deborah's parents and May having just arrived from an all-day drive from New Hampshire. I'm glad they made it: Our street is a wet sheet of ice, and a thick fog is covering most of Indiana and Ohio. They told us about following "Rudolph" — an 18-wheeler with glowing red taillights — nearly all the way across Ohio. All they could see were those red hazy dots amidst the gray. I've done nearly the same thing — I followed a truck at a crawl nearly all the way across Ohio in a blizzard after visiting Deborah up at Houghton in upstate New York one weekend.

Now, off to bed with me. As I told the kids, the sooner you go to sleep, the sooner it will be Christmas again!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

May in November

May came to visit for a week around Thanksgiving.

Now, what roles does May play around our house?

Jungle gym...


Hairstyling client...

Fabric artist...

Mario Kart competitor...


... and Muse.

A truly multi-purpose relative!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

That should keep me warm...

"Hey honey, did you do any laundry? I haven't got a thing to wear."

"Did you check the couch? I folded you a cat."

An extra-soft quilted pillowtop, to be exact

There are some evenings when I have absolutely nothing better to that to sit around being a heated mattress for the baby.

Come on, Daddy, you didn't really want to do the dishes, did you?

Good — yawn — night...

Friday, December 19, 2008


We had a full night of freezing rain. It's beautiful stuff — although treacherous, too. Several co-workers are without power, and I've already heard two branches fall on the building. Deborah tells me that at least one branch has fallen at home, as well. All of us are safe and warm for the time being, although in just a few minutes, I'm going to start walking home...

The cherry tree in front of the building where I work.

It's not even officially winter yet!

Quick Query

Do any of you actually use the Odiogo tool on here to listen to posts and/or subscribe to them as podcasts? If not, I'm going to remove it. It's nifty, but it's clutter, too.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I'm Reading These Days

For the past 10 days, a very dear friend of mine has been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She's not a patient, but you could hardly convince her to leave — her daughter, Lia, is there, and therefore, so is she. Lia started out premature and healthy, but quickly went downhill, with almost no immune system to speak of, and a white blood cell count of zero. She's been struggling, taking 11 steps forward and 10 steps back.

Now, every morning, I log on and wonder, "How's Lia doing?" ...and thanks to the internet and Rhys's heartfelt writing, I know. And it's good to know, even when it hurts. Their journal is

While I'm sitting and cuddling Risanna off to sleep, I pray for Lia and Rhys.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Almost there

This morning, I dropped off a check for the balance of the price on our new back yard — quite a chunk of change to be handing out just a week before Christmas. I suppose I could tell the kids that they're getting a back yard for Christmas, but I doubt they'd understand — what's the difference between a back yard you can play in but don't own, and a back yard you own? So instead, I'm telling them that they're getting a treehouse. :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Turn, turn, turn

I always wanted a lathe. Fortunately, at some point, I actually voiced this desire, because my sister-in-law Sara spoke up for me when she saw a lathe that was heading off to be scrapped. A suitcase ride later — Deborah's mother brought it when she came to help with the baby — it was sitting in my living room.

Now, it's a fairly rudimentary thing; all I got was the bit you see on top of the stand there. I get to supply the rest, but I'm delighted anyway. It's fun. I just so happened to have a motor left over from my air compressor motor swap, and I just happened to have not one, but two steel fishtank stands in the shed, one of which turned out to be the perfect dimensions. (It's not the one pictured here.) If there was any progress in convincing me to get rid of my junk pile, this wasn't it. So far, all I've had to buy were some nuts and bolts, a belt, and the electrical connections. The rest I had laying around.

So, once I get this thing running... who wants a candlestick? Or a magic wand? Or a peppermill? Or a miniature baseball bat? Or something else that's equally useless, but very fun to make?

Yes, it really has been a month since my last post

I'll catch up on my blogging. Really. Just as soon as I catch up on my sleep...

Now that Risanna is more-or-less reliably sleeping six hours each night, life is starting to resemble "normal" again. I've just started my Christmas shopping. I've got a big backlog of photos I want to put up here. Bear with me, I'll get there!