Wednesday, January 16, 2013


NOTE: This is a a combination of two posts I thought uploaded and did not, but due to Costco-Instituional-Size Madhouse craziness in December I did not realize.  So here goes--Pics of my psycho-crazy awesome tree and other Acts of Home Decorating, as well as some cool Christmas swag!

So I luuuurrrrv me some Christmas.

Hahaha I know, I just about threw up telling you all about that in the last few weeks.  But my tree--ohhh, my tree.  I've been refining my tree for years.  Every Autumn, I am that Crazy Lady Who's First In Line When The Trees Go Up at Macys in August.  Yup, that's me.  I luuuuuuurv me some ornaments.  Cool ones, funny ones, beautiful ones.  Ornaments that remind us of the UK and family we miss and places we've been.  

My tree, when being dressed, has sections:   Classic White and Blue, 30’s-50’s Style, Toys, Disney, Travel, Fancy, Inherited.  I have bead chains in classic red, ice blue, silver and light green; and two toppers, one a large Tinker Bell whose wings are edged in fine LEDs which change colors,  and a large gold star, both wired into the top as a designer taught me to do for better stability and show.


Being our third Christmas in this house, I finally bought lighted garland for my Pottery Barn Staircase (the official name for this feature in my house--I always wanted the Pottery Barn Staircase):


For many years I had a red metallic tinsel tree that was finally just too cheesy so I brought in from the garage a lovely small tree that had been my grandmothers.  I fooled around a bit with ornaments as scaling is difficult, but came up with some needlepoint stocking ornaments she had made when I was small and then made some paper snowflakes out of scrapbook paper:



I also had some red berries and candles stripped from an “Early Crafty Period” centerpiece once I, erm, matured, creatively,  and have toted these silly bits around three or four house moves.  But I just opened the bag and went “hmmmmm”.  Yup, genius at work over here... It ain’t over till the easily over-excited hoarder says “Hmmmm”.  


So the house is Golden-Lit and Cozy, and I am immeasurably Happy. Still plowing through work, and seeing a few shows up in the city, the season is buzzing along, and I am Happy.  Here's Happy to you, too.

>>>BOXING DAY POST: Note, this should have gone out on 26 December 2012.  I was not on the ball, checking- Blogger's-new-insta-links-to-FaceBook-posting-wise.  Olè!!

"...And the Stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there..."

So I worked Christmas Eve, drove like a demon to J's house for the family crab dinner (stop here to be jealous), drove home and wrapped presents till 1am.  At which point GingerMan says "you don't have to do all this." Meaning at some point I should have realised how many freakin' Xmas gift bags I have upstairs and should have retreated to bed two hours earlier.  

So I was mature and well-reasoned about the situation.  I had two more full days ahead and thought I'd take Mr. Helpful's advice.  I stomped upstairs, grabbed the biggest gift bag I had, grabbed his large box of a gift (the Dyson Hot+Cool Fan Heater) and thumped back downstairs.  I plonked the box on the kitchen table, threw the up-ended bag, a cheerful blue background with repeated scenes of ice-skating Santas, over the top, and it being several inches short, created a picture of not so much an act of festive generosity as a high-end hostage-taking.

Up early Christmas morning, baked the bacon for an army, gathered the pressies and packed us in the Prius for the journey to Jasmin Land.  Caramel Brioche French Toast, OJ, Bacon, Whipped Cream.  Pressies.  A 1-year-old on her First Christmas, for whom wrapping paper and ribbon are a Gift From the Universe.  Gifts, on the other hand, well, get in the way.... I got  a Tardis iPhone case and a hand-sewn Van Gogh Tardis Print (in the Top 5 Episodes EVAR--go download it) knitting project bag, created by Gigi and some KICKASS GNOME STITCH MARKERS (Courtesy of Jedi Jasmin):


All in all, lovely and relaxing.  OH, dinner with my parents in two hours.  Rush and rush, up the freeway with the rest of the goods and a lot more dessert.  

A lovely evening, which also netted a BlueRay of Brave, the AWESOME Chiaogoo Interchangeable Needle Set:


And, miraculously, a Bluster Bay swift.  Yah, you read it here.  GingerMan got me the sweetest swift in the wild, wild west, chickens.  It's still packed in bubble wrap, I'll show it off later.  

Now I've shown off my newest worldly possessions like a greedy 5-year-old, I should expound the virtues and meanings of this season, etc. etc., but really that's what I'm saying.  People I would actually love anyway, people I cook for willingly and sometimes just out of the blue, people I would share cake with, gave me cool stuff.  Kinda nice, I think.... 

Oh hang about, they did get the cake first...Hey! Where did the cake go!!!! Oh bother.  Well, there is New Year's...and until then, ...Happy Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!
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Monday, January 14, 2013




Ooooh the beauty, grandeur and joy of the holidays. 

How I did revel in the fairy lights and my beautiful tree and the Crazy Christmas Barf Yards throughout the lower Bay Area.  Some real treats, I gotta tell ya--

Tiny townhouse front patches filled to the last square centimetre with huge blow-ups all jostling for wiggle room. Epilepsy-inducing light displays of such discordance as to warrant an FAA investigation into air traffic interference for sure, cresting rooftops then cascading down gutters and walls to the ground below to create miasmic displays of weird character tableaux and Santa landing strips.  Cuz he sure as hell ain’t gonna make it down within twenty feet in any dimension of that chimney. It’s a major cause of traffic in neighborhoods and an absolute delight, among many others.


OOoooooh Christmas music, especially at work.  I would have cheerfully played the christmas mp3 chip another two months than replace it with the regular chip again--6 versions of Let’s Go Fly a Kite and four versions of the Immigration Song and five versions of Rainbow Connection?  Mele Kalikimaka!  All I Want For Christmas Is You!

Not to mention the eight versions of God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You (most of them by completely inappropriate children’s choirs) and the 4 versions of Desperado (same).  Then there’s the heavy concentration of Carpenter’s lovin’, Jeebuz-lovin’, America-lovin’ and John Denver lovin’.  Oh, and some truly terrible renditions of just about everything including Road to Nowhere by some unattributed men’s choir who couldn’t carry these poor tunes in a coffin as a team of pall bearers.


So everything was going so beautifully.  And January was not looking so crowded and stressful as last year. Then...


I woke up one day a couple of weeks ago and could not get out of bed.  I tried a little kindness.  I’ve been working hard, it’s been a long retail season, I can loaf in bed, it’s only...


I went to bed at 10.30 the night before, ostensibly because I was just soooo tired, but really because I could not think of any reason to stay awake.  I had slept for twelve hours. The weight of Things to Be Done, yes, right there.  Glum Post-Holiday Gloomies, yup, present and accounted. Logical.  But not The Reason.  As the days went on, my brain shut down and my soul turned black.  Seeing people was painful, noise was painful, being touched was painful.  F*&king SAD. Sad, stupid, retarded, asinine brain lapse. So tired. 

In response, I am angry and resentful.  It’s not like losing a few days here and there to a cold or the flu.  It’s like having the entire meaning of my life surgically drained with a large-bore syringe jammed straight into my cerebral cortex.

So I have gone to doctors and friends and talked about it. How brilliant are friends???? I have purposefully socialised.  I have read new books and gone to movies.  The light box is out and shining as we speak.  GingerMan has ordered his new car which he has dreamed of and saved his pennies for ages to commute ecologically but for size means my car will now be parked in the driveway.  Which will open an area less-than-car-but-just-more-than-treadmill-size in the garage.  The car won’t arrive for a while, but I want to acquire the machine soon, just to get moving.  I have never found the Exercise Endorphin Promised Land of which others speak, but walking all over Edinburgh and London for a month last summer left me feeling really really good about myself, stronger and streamlined, so I just want to get on it.

I’ll try to get back to the fun New Year Fairy 2013 Looking Forward blog next week.  I have the last of the 2012 photos of good times, and a heartwarming story about a chocolate cake that learned to hate me, but tasted brilliant anyway, leading to the Fairy 2013 Slogan.  So hang tight, friends, see you on the light side.

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