Friday, December 31, 2010

Finished for Friday: 2010

Here is a final Christmas ornament that I'm finishing up today.  Jungle Boy reminded me that I've been making ornaments with dates on them for the past few years so I needed to have one for this year.  He's pretty observant.  I know I'll thank him again for the idea when I pull out the ornaments next year.  I still haven't packed up Christmas.  I like to savor the season for a while.

I'm working on New Year's goals today; I never make resolutions.  I met some of my goals last year, including important ones like learning how to walk again.  It's all good.  I love New Years Eve.  It's like the brink of a new adventure.  What are your plans?

Happy New Year to you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How Cold is it at Your House?

We're getting hit with our share of storms here in California.  Temps in the 30s at night - which is pretty cold for us.  Lots of rain and high winds.  Luckily we're not in a flood area.

Here's my little heat thief.  If she's not on my lap, she's roasting on a vent. 

I'm still enjoying my solo vacation.  I confess I haven't cleaned a single closet, but I've read 4 books already. 

So how are you surviving the weather?

Monday, December 27, 2010

And Then They Left

Christmas was lovely at our house. I have many stories to tell - disasters, sweet moments, perfect gifts.

But tonight I am thinking about my family. Because they're not here.

Wasabi Girl was invited to spend the week at Lake Tahoe with a friend from school.

Drama Girl is in Los Angeles seeing the sights with her aunt and uncle

And Jungle Boy and my husband decided to grab the opportunity to join some cousins steelhead fishing.

They each felt bad, for about 5 minutes. "What will poor mom do?" Believe me, I reassured them that I would love the opportunity to organize things around the house.  I made grand plans; clean out closets, rearrange junk in the garage, sort through old papers.

Maybe I'll start all that tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll put my feet up and read a book, like I did today.  This is quite possibly the best vacation a mom could ask for.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Break

The entire writing and editorial staff here at Lit and Laundry is taking a holiday break.  The photography staff will continue to work, but will not be uploading shots.  The kitty litter containment team and the chauffeur staff will continue to do all the work behind the scenes that nobody ever thanks or pays them for.  The chef, house medical staff and gardener are all putting up their feet with some eggnog in hand.  The head laundress is carefully pressing all the vintage Christmas table linens and tea towels before heading out for some "me" time.

I used to find it easy to blog after the kids went to bed and the house was quiet.  Now that the twins are in 7th grade, they're often up late late late doing mountains of homework, and I don't have my quiet time any more.  I'm going to take a little break, do some writing offline, and return after the holiday season.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday,

- Threeundertwo

Monday, December 6, 2010

Makes My Monday: State Champion

This short video captures the amazing moment of joy when my daughter won first place all around in the Northern California gymnastics championship.  I wasn't quick enough with my camera, but you can hear the announcer say "...level champions.  Gymnasts please salute!"  That's Wasabi Girl there in the number 1 spot with the enormous smile.  She's holding a pillowcase they gave her as part of her award, that says "Dream Big."

Throughout the competition season, the first place all-around medal has eluded her.  It's been her single goal.  She couldn't have picked a better meet to win it.  I'm so proud I could burst.

Having a champion in the family makes my Monday.  To see more Monday makers, visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Finished for Friday: Free Christmas Books and Music

I'm spinning into the holiday around here, wondering how I'm going to get it all done.  I notice a lot of friends on Facebook are already addressing Christmas cards.  Ack!  I hadn't even thought about mine yet.

I'm also busy driving the kids back and forth to the next city for Nutcracker rehearsals.  The preparation for that includes a grand scavenger hunt (girls can only wear Rimmel lipstick color #202, boys can only wear a particular shade of brown that's impossible to find.)  I still need to sew white elastics on one pair of black ballet shoes and black elastics on a different pair.  Tell me the truth, if you're watching The Nutcracker, do you notice the color of the elastic on the shoes of the dancers?  I suppose someone does.  Far be it from me to mess up the grand designs of the costume mistress.

There are two sure things that get me in the holiday spirit.  One is music, the other is a good Christmas story.  I'll share a few I've been enjoying this past week.

For your mp3 player, I recommend "The Wexford Carol" by Andreas Vollenweider.  This is some decidedly different harp music that would work great in a playlist that includes artists like Mannheim Steamroller.

If you haven't downloaded music from Amazon before, it's very simple.  You'll be prompted to download their tool, which just takes a few seconds.  Then your music will automatically show up in iTunes (or whatever player you prefer to use on your computer).

Amazon has a lot of free music, often for a limited time.  It's worth checking throughout December because they feature a new free holiday song each day.  You may also be interested in one of their free "samplers" of Christmas music. I recommend the Sugo Music Free Holiday Sampler and Timeless Christmas.  If you don't like all the tracks, you can always delete a few and keep the ones you like.

On to books.  Although this one is no longer free, it was a lovely holiday read and you may want to add it to your list of books to pick up.

A Simple Amish Christmas is about Annie Weaver, a young woman who has left the community for a few years and become a nurse.  We begin by seeing her in a familiar busy hospital setting, but soon venture with her back home to a life of quiet simplicity.  Once there, she faces challenges and decisions about how she will use her skills and find her place within her community.

I haven't read much about the Amish, so the descriptions of everyday life and home were fascinating to me.  It was definitely a book that brought some calm and peace to my busy days.  Now I want to read some more in this genre.

I've also enjoyed a few shorter works, which are free.  Beasley's Christmas Party is a charming old-fashioned tale from Booth Tarkington.  The Bird's Christmas Carol is a forgotten classic that's very sweet and funny and finally The Burglar and the Blizzard, while not particularly Christmassy, is witty and fun along the lines of P. G. Wodehouse.  All recommended for some cozy fireside reading.

What have you been up to this week?  Link up and show us.  Have a wonderful weekend.  I'm off to order my Christmas cards now.

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