Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve...

Today was rainy, so it consisted mainly of mopping up tracked-in mud from the kitchen floor--although it is such breathtakingly ugly early 1970's Harvest Gold linoleum that mud actually improves it. We also had to bring in one of the Silkies and all three Polish chickens for a session with the hair dryer, they were soaked to the skin and looking especially pathetic. Since crested poultry all have the same non-Darwinesque trait--a hole in the top of their skulls through which their brains protrude--wet crest feathers on their heads weight their head feathers down so as to cause brain injuries. This is thanks to dumbass humans breeding the birds for bigger and fancier head crest feathers. So when it rains, in come the Silkies and Polish chickens to lounge in the house, get their feathers blow-dried, eat snackies and watch TV (the 'Twilight Zone' marathon). Today two of the Silkies had the sense to stay in the coop and remain dry.

Tonight we will have our little family New Year's Eve party, complete with sparkling pomegranate juice, party hats, noisemakers and confetti poppers, plus a few leftover Fourth of July tidbits. We're celebrating at 8PM our time so N. can participate, then she's off to bed for a few hours till we wake her again at midnight to stand on the front porch and bang on the good Revere Ware stainless steel pots with wooden spoons (family tradition).

Tomorrow we take down the Christmas tree and pack away all those wonderful holiday baubles until next year. Normally I watch the Rose Parade during the tree untrimming, but because years ago the Rose Parade folks struck a deal with the local churches never to have the parade on a Sunday, no parade till January 2nd--on which day it is supposed to rain VERY heavily. It always feels very weird to take down the tree without the parade going in the background. We'll each write our memories from this year on the tissue that wraps the ornaments, and read the comments from previous years aloud to each other as we do so. N. will write her own comments beginning this year.

I also prune back all my rose bushes at the beginning of the year, which always makes them look like wretched little sticks but does them good in the long run...sad since this time of year I get my best roses--no sunburned blooms like in summer.

Whatever your New Year's Eve tradition is, have fun and celebrate safely and in style, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Thanks For The New Memories...

Tonight I was watching various holiday movies as I sat wrapping Christmas gifts, surrounded by a confusion of rolls of bright paper and shiny ribbons, and constantly losing the scissors...Holiday Inn, Desk Set, A Christmas Story...

The Christmas tree this year is a good one, and glows warmly in front of the window, smelling great and looking fabulous with all my favorite old-time glass ornaments hanging from it. My six year old daughter was sitting under my table, playing with the scraps of paper and bits of ribbon as they floated down, wrapping her own 'presents'--small plastic animals, dinosaurs, little toys. She does this very carefully and with serious intent, so I help her by showing her how to tear off a strip of tape so it doesn't ball up and letting her choose which gift tags to use. As she works, from under the table I hear her quietly singing "The First Noel"--except she has changed the words, in the way we all do with misheard lyrics. It is now "Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well..."

Forget loud, fancy parties. These are truly the moments to savor.

Life is good...