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Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Elves, human and canine.

I'm feeling festive today. I'm really looking forward to seeing the kids' faces on Christmas morning, and that vision is getting me through the mountain of things I need to do before that magic moment. I spent the morning doing laundry and cleaning a bit (it's always at least a two-day job, but I feel the need for an orderly house before I can truly feel ready for Christmas.) The reward system is: Clean, and then you can wrap presents (always fun) and if you get them all wrapped before the kids get home (a solid three-hour slog) you can have a glass er two of wine when Bill comes home. So with that vision in my brain, I cleaned the downstairs bathroom, which has lots of tile and glass, did the laundry and put it away, and began wrapping at noon. I burned soy candles, one that smelled of evergreen and berries, and one that smelled like sugar cookies. Evergreen, sugar cookies. Ahhh. I never cease to be amazed by the power of aroma to put me in a good mood. Soy candles are just fabulous. They lack the obnoxious hydrocarbons that paraffin candles pump into the air. So the fragrance that emerges is pure and strong. They burn at such a low temperature that you can't hurt yourself on the hot wax. What's not to like? Well, they're still pretty expensive, and hard to find, but I snap them up wherever I find them. I am an inveterate label reader where candles are concerned.
I managed to get all the gifts wrapped before the kids got home. It sure beats subterfuge, trying to scuttle by them with gifts under my clothes, or locking them out of the studio or, perish the thought, being nasty to them to keep my secrets intact. With all the book shipping that's been going on out of the studio, I've been able to hide presents in plain sight this year, in plain cardboard boxes right under their noses. Dad always said the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Tee hee.
Bill came home early with armloads of groceries and Cooked Dinner!!! Life is good. He is good. While the chili was simmering, sending delicious scents up the stairwell, we repaired to the tower room and killed off a small bottle of Pinot Noir, a candle guttering between us, Baker curled on my lap. How much more does a girl need? Nothin'. We talked about books and commentaries and work and kids, about sweat lodges and contracts and go-karts and parties and music and Baker's patellae.
Because I rarely post on Friday nights, I wanted to give you Baker fans a little bitty surprise Christmas present. I took this series of photos the other night while trying out the brand-new 70-135 mm. lens Bill got me for Christmas.
We all start off with the highest intentions not to give our slender, athletic new puppies people food, right? And it's easy enough at the start, before they have the concept of "ice cream" and "cookie" and "biscotti" and "cheese" and "nuts" in their brains.
But when your dog puts on a special beg just for ice cream, and he KNOWS it's ice cream you're eating, and he loves it SO MUCH, it gets complicated, and hard to adhere to your principles. Those googly eyes are good for much more than making me laugh. They are begging bombs.

Chet stakes Phoebe out. She's got Breyer's Raspberry Chocolate Chunk in that mug, and he knows it.

Oh, Phoebe, I just love you So Much. You are So Beautiful. Let me kiss your ice creamy lips. Yes. Breyer's Raspberry Chocolate Chunk. I may need to go into overdrive.
While I am at it, (kissing you because you are So Beautiful), I may try to get just a little taste of your raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream. I will not be greedy.
Merry Christmas, Chet fans. We hope you find everything under the tree that you wanted. In lieu of gifts, here's your laugh.


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