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December 2018

Au Revoir, 2018!

"For last year's words belong to last year's language.  And next year's words await another voice."
                                                                --- T.S. Eliot


Happy New Year, my friends.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019.

Sometimes The Day After Christmas . . .

feels an awfully lot like a Monday!  

Today, I am finally giving in . . . to a cold that's been brewing for days.


I've got a good book, a glass of orange juice, my portable vaporizer, and my trusty tissue box.

And . . . I've just set up Gnome-Central!


Time to hunker down and finally beat back this crud!

Enjoy these post-holiday days.  I hope you find some time to rest and recuperate.
That's what I'm going to do . . . take a few days off.
I'll be back next week to ring in the new year.
See you then!


Winter Solstice

Happy Solstice!


Our party last night was a great success.  Good food.  Good friends.  Plenty to drink.  Lots of laughter.


(Plus . . . my cocktail napkin game was strong!)


Today, I'm happy to have it all (including the clean-up) behind me.  It's time to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.


And - by special request - click here for the Songs for Winter Solstice playlist Tom and I created for our annual party.  Remember, you won't find any Christmas songs on this playlist, but you will find an assortment of songs sharing the loose themes of light, dark, stars, the sun (including both the setting and the rising), and seasons.  (There is also one birthday-ish song in there, for obvious reasons).  Listen and enjoy!  


I wish you all a lovely Solstice, and a happy weekend -- full of light!


(Note:  After many annoying minutes of trying to get the actual playlist to embed correctly in this blog post, I have given up.  You have to click the link (in red, above) to get the playlist.  The "list" is just a photo and will not play directly.  Sorry.)



Three Tom-isms: A Special Birthday Post

Today is a Big Day.

Yeah.  It is our Winter Solstice Party.  But that's not why it's Big Day.

It's a Big Day . . . because it's Tom's birthday.  His 60th birthday!

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It's hard for me to really grasp that we're celebrating his 60th birthday today.  Not because he's "that old" . . . but because I can remember celebrating his first birthday together-as-a-couple so clearly.  As if it were . . . just yesterday.  

December 20, 1979.  Tom was my boyfriend, then -- a senior in college at Boise State University.  I picked him up at the old Denver Stapleton airport when he flew home for Christmas break.  I gave him a gigantic crocheted afghan that I had lovingly stitched throughout the semester . . . in the parking lot at the airport . . . with irritated drivers who wanted our parking spot as our audience.

That was the first of many birthdays we celebrated together.  
40 birthdays together, actually.
Pretty much. . . 2/3 of our lives.

Amazing, isn't it?


So many birthdays.  So many memories.  

As we go about our day today, working together to throw our big Solstice-Not-a-Birthday-Party (although I did get him a birthday crown to wear - and a flashing "60" button to wear), we'll also be kicking off the biggest Birthday Extravaganza in our history together.  (Well.  So far.)  

It's going to be a great year!


And because today is a Thursday, I thought I'd share three Tom-isms with you - in honor of his birthday.  Three things about Tom and his general approach to life that have made the biggest impact on me and my own general approach to life:

1 - If you're going to commit to something, go all in.  Tom is always much more . . . considered . . . about what he commits to doing than I tend to be.  He doesn't take commitments lightly.  He always does what he says he's going to do.  He doesn't look for excuses.  He doesn't want to be let off the hook.  He also doesn't over-commit.  After 40 years, I'm still trying to follow his example.

2 - Function over form.  Every time.  Tuck your pantlegs into your socks (in public) to keep the ticks out?  No problem!  Create an eyesore in the back of your car by carrying every piece of gear you might ever need at all times?  Why not!  Wear a ratty old pair of shorts (in all seasons) with multiple layers of shirts and vests because you're cold in the winter?  Works for him!  (Stay back, girls!  He's All Mine!!!)  (Just sayin.)  Seriously, though . . . after all these years, some of his function-over-form lifestyle is finally rubbing off on form-over-function me.

3 - When it comes to deciding whether or not you should head to the gym for a workout, the answer is always, ALWAYS YES.  Whenever I feel too [fill-in-the-blank:  tired, sore, sick, busy, unsettled . . . etc.] to go to the gym, Tom always gives me That Look.  Then he says (in a But-It's-YOUR-Decision kind of tone), "I usually find that a workout helps."  And he's right.  It does.  (And I am the fitter because of him.)


Happy Birthday, Tom!

(Let's get this party started!)


Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts!


Unraveling Away

I finished up my Christmas knitting and shipped it all off last week.  (Phew!)  I toyed with the idea of . . . maybe, just maybe . . . knitting one last gift item (for a friend here in town).  


I cast on.  The pattern is easy, rhythmic to knit, and quickly memorized.

Or . . . so I thought.

Unfortunately, I quickly-memorized the row count between cable-crosses wrong.  
And didn't catch it right away.  
And had to rip WAY back.  
But I'm on track again now.  (Although probably not in time for gift-giving. . . ) (But that's okay.)

So.  Unraveling.  Re-raveling.  And actually just fine with all of it!

How about you?  What are you making right now?


If you want to see my Christmas knitting, you can read all about it on Ravelry here, here, here, and here.

And be sure to visit Kat today for more Unraveled posts.

Best Kind of Gift

Sometimes we get big reminders . . . that the best kinds of gifts can't be purchased or wrapped or placed under a tree!


JoJo had her stitches removed this morning.  No more inflatable collar.  And - best of all - no more cancer!  The lab report came back with the words "completely excised" and "favorable prognosis."

For me, that's the best kind of gift!


(JoJo and I thank you all for your kind words and healing thoughts during her recuperation.)


There's no snow on the ground here anymore, but there is plenty of The Dreary and The Frozen.


It's Friday.  Let's celebrate that with a little TGIF.

T - Thinking About . . . our Solstice party next Thursday.  Pretty much, it's All Solstice All The Time right now in my head.

G - Grateful . . . that Tom and I do a detailed "post-mortem" after each Solstice party -- complete with good notes.  We've been doing these parties for so many years now that we have A System.  (And my notes tell us things like how we set up the rooms, the number of beers and bottles of wine our guests consumed, where we placed the luminaries, and suggestions for the next party.  That kind of thing.)

I - Inspired by . . . all the things I can't wait to get back to once the Solstice party is in the books for another year.

F - Fun . . . I have a facial scheduled today!  (Not always "fun," exactly.  But definitely a treat!)

How about YOU?  How's your Friday shaping up?

Enjoy your weekend.


And Then Sometimes the News is Good

Back in the fall, Tom found a little lump in the crease just in front of JoJo's right hind leg.  And then we couldn't find it again.  And then . . . there it was again!  Not very big.  Hard to find.  Worrisome.  But also not so worrisome.  But worrisome enough that I took her to the vet in November.

I expected the vet to say No worries, just a fatty tumor.

But that's not what the vet said.  Let's aspirate that, the vet said.

And it turned out to be . . . not good.  A mast cell tumor.  Cancer.

We must cut that out, the vet said.  And have tests run to see how likely to spread it might be.

Unsettling.  (And JoJo is only 5.)

Last week, JoJo had surgery.  For such a small lump, she ended up with a massive incision.  I was aggressive with the margins, the vet said.  Because I could be, he said.  And because she is only 5, he said.


Frankendog, said Tom.

After being kind of out of it for a couple of days, JoJo bounced back.  She doesn't like to sit still.  She wants to play and jump and run.  No roughhousing, said the vet.  And no running. 

And she really wants to get at those stitches.  So . . . 


It's an inflatable collar.  Better than a cone, by far.  Ahoy there, matey! said Tom.

Last night we got the pathology report from the vet.  Good news, said the vet.  Clean surgical margins and a low probability spread, said the vet.

You know what we said?

  1. Yay!
  2. Yay!
  3. Yay!


Be sure to hop on over to Carole's today for other Three on Thursday posts.