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It’s been over a week since I’ve written a blog post. Lots of half-formed ideas for posts are rolling around in my head, but none are taking enough of a definitive shape to write tonight, so I’m going with the ramble.

As I try to write this, the dog is lying down near my chair, after having figured out how to climb the stairs and attempting to dig a hole through the rug. There’s no guarantee he won’t dig again, or go after the cats, who have used the upper floor as their sanctuary from said dog.

(Here comes the white cat now, two steps from the top of the stairs. She can see the dog from where she is and has frozen in her tracks. The dog is looking a little freaked too. Could be some drama developing momentarily. Nope. The cat left. No drama. Thank god.)

So, then, where was I?

Ah, yes, the holiday weekend. (That’s where I was mentally, even if it didn’t appear so from my introduction.) Everyone was home on Friday, no work, no school. As Friday was Christmas Eve and our family tradition for at least the last ten years has been to visit an Asian restaurant on Christmas Eve, that’s what we did … after we took a walk with the dog at a local state park and took family pictures in front of small evergreen trees.

 

The Warner family starting out for a walk, December 24, 2010.
The Warner family starting out for a walk, December 24, 2010. Obviously, because I can’t be seen, I’m the one with the camera.

The Asian restaurant tradition almost became a debacle. We had called ahead twice, mind you, TWICE, to see if the restaurant would be open by the time we got there at 5 p.m. and were given the same wishy-washy positive answer both times. When we arrived at five, the restaurant was closed – at both locations. Um, yeah. If the folks at the restaurant had made up their minds and given us a definitive no, we would have been fine with that. Instead, we were pissed because we were led on. Not so sure we’ll be going back to that restaurant. We found another Asian restaurant, one of our favorites, the Dong Khanh Express, and had a nice meal there.

When we returned home, we watched the movie “Up,” which was delightful. I was so taken with the movie that the following morning I did what a number of writing books suggest: I analyzed the plot structure of the movie, taking up six-and-a-half pages in my notebook in doing so. (That could be a blog post unto itself.)

We took our time getting up Christmas morning (the beauty of children who are teens and adults) and opened presents late. Erik headed to his parents’ house to get started on pulled pork and the rest of us followed a few hours later. This wasn’t the proper extended Warner family celebration, but the food, as always, was fabulous.

Sunday was the proper extended Warner family Christmas celebration, which took place at Erik’s sister’s house. We had to leave the pup home and crated for about nine hours, which seemed to make us more uncomfortable than it did the pup. The celebration included scrumptious food, as does every Warner celebration, and gift unwrapping. We decided to do consumable gifts this year, rather than purchase stuff that my brother refers to as American Shelf Shit (or African Shelf Shit – pick your continent).

We put together candy bags for everyone, repurposing brown paper shopping bags like this ….

Brown paper shopping bag repurposed as gift bag. I cut the sides into strips down to the point where the bag bottom folds and curled the strips using a wooden spoon. I then decorated each strip with small drawings and put ribbon around the base. December 2010.

Brown paper shopping bag repurposed as gift bag. I cut the sides into strips down to the point where the bag bottom folds and curled the strips using a wooden spoon. I then decorated each strip with small drawings and put ribbon around the base. December 2010. This, too, could be its own blog post.

Yesterday, I did the grocery shopping and purchased a traditional year-end item, my new bedside calendar into which I record each day’s events. Here’s a pic of last year’s calendar and this year’s calendar:

This year's calendar (on the left) and next year's calendar (on the right). December 2010.
This year’s calendar (on the left) and next year’s calendar (on the right). December 2010.

While an attractive exterior is important to me, what’s critical is the space for writing on the inside. I need more than tiny squares, but less than full pages for each day. Nothing too daunting that takes more than a few minutes to fill. Here’s the interior of the 2011 calendar:

Interior of my 2011 calendar. The spaces are not too small and not too large. They're just right. December 2010.

Interior of my 2011 calendar. The spaces are not too small and not too large. They're just right. December 2010.

When I get around to purchasing my yearly calendar, I also tend to be jotting down a list of creative goals for the upcoming year. This I have done. (On December 19, I see from my notebook. I’m fastidious about dating my entries.) But, that’s a blog post for another day.

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