Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hola darlings! Happy New Year to everyone, and may the Goddess bless you in 2009. I had off work today - a brief reprieve! I seem to have contracted some kind of something that affects only my nose. It's been running like a bad faucet all day, despite taking two cold tablets and an antihistamine! This better go away soon! Already gone through half a box of tissue and my nose is so sore now I can hardly touch it. I look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. That's not a joke! I did not last until midnight last night to greet the New Year - I was zonked out by 10:30 PM, LOL! I slept in this morning, not getting up until almost 7:30 AM when the squirrels tapping on the patio door finally mustered me to my household duties :) I trekked down to the store later and stocked up on mixed nuts which are now on sale. I will stop again tomorrow night after work, because soon they will be gone until next holiday season, and my squirrels will have to sustain themselves on peanuts (which they will turn their noses up at first, having been spoiled for the past couple of months with almonds, hazelnuts a/k/a filberts, pecans, Brazil nuts and walnuts!) I've got a new critter - he (or she) may be living under my next store neighbor's deck - that's where I saw it last duck when I startled it one night last week by turning on the patio light to check the snow. That must have been 12/23, the night dondelion arrived. It's either a fox or a young coyote, but I haven't seen it now for several days. Call me a sucker - I put some food out anyway, probably not the wisest thing to do but even coyotes must eat, and the possums, and the raccoons, and the skunks. Only thing is, the food I put out is cooked, not raw, and it will freeze up fast if some critter doesn't come along and munch it down. So, I wait until after sundown to put it out, but it will probably be frozen solid by 7 PM. So - no new resolutions for the New Year, just a continuation of my slow but steady weight loss program with less "bad" food and more exercise - sort of fell off the wagon during the whirlwind Las Vegas trip but I'm back to eating salads at lunch now, good girl that I am. And I suppose I should resolve to finally get all of my mounds of printed research in some kind of order, eek! That will take days - but we're so busy at the office it looks like I'll be working at least 1 to 2 Saturdays a month for the foreseeable future. Good for the pocketbook but bad for trying to keep on top of my second, "chessly" career. Argggh! Finally, this Sunday probably (because I'll be working Saturday) I will take down the Christmas tree as the holiday season ends. It's always a melancholy exercise taking off all of the ornaments, wrapping up the exquisite Egyptian blown glass ornaments in tissue paper, wiping dust off and putting the colored glass ornaments back into their boxes, and cleaning the crystal snow drops, icicles and spirals before they go back into their foam-padded boxes. It is an all-day process, punctured liberally by much drinking of wine and munching on chocolate-covered cherries, an indulgence I allow myself this one day every year. Then it will be the struggle wrestling the 6.5' tall tree that weighs what seems like half a ton all by myself past the living room furniture, into the hallway past the stairs and basement door, around the corner through the dinette, then turn another corner into the family room and out the door into the frozen garage. Yikes! It's a real work-out, worth at least 1,000 calories, no lie, so I won't feel so badly about scarfing down two boxes of Queen Anne brand chocolate covered cherries. Hopefully the entire tree will stick together this year and I'll get it out to the garage in one piece (it is a 3-piece jointed tree and the joints tend to separate as I lug/drag the tree along), where it will be wrapped up once again in freshly-laundered sheets that are pinned up at the bottom. Not that THAT keeps the bugs out, but I try, I try... I scared the crap out of more than one spider this year lugging the tree BACK into the house, LOL! That's what they get, the little buggers, for daring to nest in my artificial Christmas tree. Ha! Some more photos from dondlion's visit. I downloaded all the photos to the desktop but that still isn't up and running on my in-house network so I don't have access to them yet - I may tackle THAT reconnection issue on Sunday, sigh. These photos I've got on my laptop, downloaded from dondelion's flashdrive, all photos that I took on our visit to Mother Newton and the Domes on 12/28. First: dondelion at Mom's house, 12/28/08. Penny the Poodle is next to him, color-coordinated in her blue sweater. Penny is probably 200 years old now, and she's got cataracts so she doesn't see very well and doesn't hear very well, but she still has enough spring to jump up on the sofa when company arrives, and it seems she can see well-enough when she wants to and her doggy senses haven't been so impaired :) When dondelion and I were getting ready to leave at the end of our visit, Penny was jumping up on my legs like no tomorow, wanting to go along. Mom has overwhelmed the house with Christmas decorations, although she claimed she wasn't going to "celebrate" Christmas this year, LOL! Study this photograph carefully, you will be tested on its contents later. Note especially the home decorating program that is on the large flat screen television :) The large mirrored area behind the sofa is partially covered with a digitally lighted tapestry, a gift to Mom from Aunt Diane this year. It is so over the top, it actually is pretty. Second: A potted jade plant in full bloom with white delicate flowers, in the Arid Dome at Mitchell Park. I had no idea jade plants bloomed! As we strolled through the Arid Dome, there were several jade plants scattered about, and they were all blooming! I thought it was so pretty, and I was so amazed by these blooming plants at the end of December, I just had to take some photos. Third: A standard shot of the waterfall in the Tropical Dome at Mitchell Park. This is one of the most popular spots in this Dome - gee, wonder why, LOL! All the ice and snow and cold outside melt away while strolling through the Tropical Dome, with its birds, orchids, blooming flowers, high humidity and warmth. It's a wonderful place to while away several hours and it's amazing I was able to get a shot in this Dome without a person in it. But I cheated - I was leaning WAY over the little footbridge out of everyones' way to get this shot.

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