Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

Yes, that's the way to spend the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Sunny, 63 degrees, done with the hard work of the day, and my faithful dog beside me.

I walked to Walgreens this morning (took about an hour or so) for my last bit of Christmas shopping; inexplicably Walgreens always seems to have the best dog toys around. I picked out a couple squeakies for Howie and Sebastian, and then went to the next store in the parking lot, an automotive store, for a car wash mitt.

Howie has had a new wash mitt to mangle every year we've had him, I believe. I'm not sure why a wash mitt is so much fun to bite, but it would hardly be Christmas for him without one. The last few years I've sewn a squeaker into the mitt for added spice.

After my walk, I went out to the ranch to give Dink his Christmas gift -- a clean paddock. Opening his gate, I sent him out to the arena to roll in the dirt (which he did immediately) and then let his buddies Eddie and The Colt out to run, too. They galloped around rather crazily for a while, then settled down to graze on stray weeds and bits of Other Horses' Hay, which tastes much better than their own. I shoveled and dumped the wheelbarrow and shoveled some more. The horses all got a little treat when they went back into their paddocks like gentlemen.

Next, a casserole to assuage the hungers of all and sundry, a lasagna casserole. That is, a casserole with the sauce, the cheeses, the meat ... and mini-farfalle noodles. Then the sun, and the smile.

Such a smile -- the smile of a woman who knows that beneath the area rugs in the front room and the family room is tile, and it is DONE, and it looks lovely:

And with that, Merry Christmas to all, stay warm, and don't forget -- Christmas Shopping Season is the only thing that is over. The Christmas Season is only about to begin.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Testing My Limits

Today our webhost mucked up our files again, making them inaccessible to me. Now they say that all I have to do is use something called FTP to get to the files, but I've looked at that page and have no idea how to make use of it.

That means no Piker Press until the issue is resolved or Josh wakes up and can assist. Nevertheless, I think I can use this picture for one of the stories, and link to it from this blog. Something to remember, I guess.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Ah, Winter Weather

The time change happens, your sense of daybreak gets messed up, and what looks like six in the morning turns out to be nine ... whoops, heavy Tule fog has really thrown off your day.

By the time you read the news and the comics, and drink your tea, feed the dogs, stoke the fire, put the jammies in the hamper and get dressed, it's nearly eleven o' clock and time to be thinking about what you're having for lunch and cooking for the midday meal.

A quick snack to break your nightly fast, a finger-numbing rummage through the freezer for some chicken filets that have mysteriously migrated to the bottom of the storage. You look at your watch and realize that you have almost five hours of daylight left to weed the winter garden, rake leaves into the street, go to the store for bread, stop at the Post Office, pick up the grand-daughter at school, get out to the yard to clean up dog poop, and take the recyclables down to the City Recycle Center.

Bam! It's dark, midday meal is done, the fog has come back up again, and the comfy pajamas seem like an oasis in a chilly desert night.

A warm laptop computer. A story you got to thinking about when you were supposed to be praying at church last Sunday. Thick, cushiony socks.

The glass of wine, and a tiny plate of summer sausage and walnuts.

Another winter tale begins.