Hey, check it out, I actually feel like writing a post! It’s been months, but blog writing doesn’t have the appeal for me that it used to. I generally get stymied wondering why anyone would be interested in my ramblings, especially considering that I myself no longer read other people’s rambly blogs. Thank god for special-interest sites, however, because I use them a lot. Just in the past week I learned a passel o’ stuff–from how many graphic novels collections of the Walking Dead there are (22 and counting), to why my six-month-old grandson has suddenly begun thinking “stranger-danger” when he looks at me (normal but soul-crushing), to the best crustless gluten- dairy-free quiche recipes (still to be tested), to where I’d seen Tony Robinson of Time Team before (oh yeaahh, he’s BALDRICK!). As well as about a million bazillion other things, important and non. I love internet.
Anyway, THAT was a bunny trail, right out of the chute.
So how is everyone? I’m hoping well. We’re deep into the holidays now (did you notice?) and our personal family is a week away from Yule, which we celebrate instead of Christmas. It started out for me to be a spiritual decision, but that doesn’t matter so much anymore as I’ve laid spiritual beliefs aside for the mo. For however-long because they just don’t matter to me anymore. But I like Yule’s emphasis on nature and light AND my kids love it because when we celebrate the week before Christmas, there’s no competition between our family and the families of their significant others over who spends the holiday where. It removes about 82.7% of the stress. This year, on the 21st, we’re going to treat everyone to Zoolights up at the Portland Metropolitan Zoo. We’ll take the MAX train up there early evening, walk around oohing and ahhing for a couple hours, then ride back to Jess and Lauren’s house and cook a big extravagant breakfast for supper. (Hence the quiche recipes.) Afterwards we’ll exchange gifts and sip hot drinky-poos around the fire, maybe play some games! I’m super looking forward to this. Our gift exchange will work like the classic white elephant game only it’ll involve actual nice gifts instead of duds, and people can keep what they like. I always hated the obligatory trading-away part, so that’s been abolished. The beauty of making up your own rules. Scott and I went shopping for our individual gifts to exchange yesterday and had a blast looking for unique gourmet items to fill our baskets. The peeps who get those are going to love ’em. This week I’ll be making a few homemade items to add to the mix as well. I’ve been having fun.
A few highlights of the past couple months:
~We took a little trip to the Newport Aquarium for Jesse’s birthday in November and had a great time wandering through the exhibits and especially up and down the old waterfront. I love that part of town because it’s an actual working waterfront, complete with fishing trawlers going in and out of port, walls and walls of crab pots, salt- and gull doo-encrusted sidewalks, and at least one drunken old salt who kept crowing “Hey, BAAABY” at me from his bench on a pier. In the past this may have meant something completely different, but this time I was 100% sure that he was trying to get Sol’s attention, as I was carrying him in a pouch in front of me. Man, here’s a hint: if you’re ever starved for attention, carry a damn baby around with you. You’ll never be lonely again. Haha! You’ll at least have all the old drunken sailors you want. Oh, and there was a wall of rocks below one pier that was SWARMING with sea lions, barking and roaring and biting at each other, and this went on for hours. They were still at it when we left. It was great.
~I’ve been making natural lip balms, flavoring them with peppermint and lime oils and tinting some of them with beetroot powder, and they’re utterly fantastic… I’m so happy with them! I will never be without lip balm again, which is some claim for this addict, I’ll tell you. They’re stashed everywhere. Plus, they’re cheap enough that I can keep my peoples supplied with them. I’ve also been using a homemade peppermint oil-infused glycerin spray as a humectant for my skin and hair and have found out it works as a headache remedy, too! Yes, peppermint is a current theme. It’s been fun to mess around with beauty concoctions.
~Also! A few days ago I began drawing in my art journal again, after a year, and that feels really good. After my first entry a few days ago I realized that I actually felt normal again. When Jess asked what I wanted for Yule, I told him chalk and oil pastels. Gotta get this engine humming again. With our tax return in February we plan on buying a new laptop and printer/scanner, so I’ll be able to show my new work to you.
~For quite a long time now, Scott and I have been reading the Repairman Jack and Adversary Cycle series (they intertwine) by F. Paul Wilson, and eighteen books later, we finally finished! Well, other than three teenage Jack novels, and three prequels to the series, that is… I’m working on those while Scott takes a break. Jack is one of the best characters EVER and I’m eternally grateful to the author for bringing him into the world, and taking him out (figuratively) so perfectly. I’ve been reading scads of novels, on average a book every two days, but as always there are only one or two out of an entire stack that stand out. For me, the latest is The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. That book SLAYED ME. I was SLAIN.
~Also, I’ve been reading the Walking Dead graphic novels. Due to a strange series of events, I’d ended up watching the fourth season of the show three times in the past month, so you can imagine that I was thoroughly immersed in its world, even to the point of dreaming about it. I don’t care about zombies in the least. It’s the people I care about, seeing how dire circumstances changed them, how they survived in the worst situations. I’m completely enthralled by this. What’s nice is that the books are really different from the show; even the characters don’t share too many of the same traits, so nothing is ruined from one to the other. I prefer the show. Say, when Michonne in the book does something I don’t like, I can huffily proclaim, “The REAL Michonne would never do that!” Etc. I do appreciate the reality that if it weren’t for the books, there wouldn’t be a show. Which I love.
~Torie moved out last month, to a huge house with three housemates and two pit bulls, and she’s doing extremely well. I thought that having the Spare Oom back to use as a work room would make my life worth living, but to my vast surprise, not so much. I waited a few days to see if Torie’s new situation was going to take, then began fixing up my new room, getting everything organized and pictures hung and all my tools in place. But I find I barely use it. I like being in the living room. This is the first time since we first moved in that we haven’t had someone living with us and I’m finding I miss the company and extra bustle. First it was my friend Stephanie, then Torie, then Jesse, then Jess and his girlfriend, then Torie again. I’m thinking of advertising on Craigslist. (Kidding.) My ideal living situation would be one of those sprawling Spanish villas surrounding a central courtyard, with my kids and their families filling the rooms. In the evenings, we could swarm into the middle of the yard, barking and biting and roaring at each other far into the night.
Happy season to all!