Thursday, December 31, 2020

Sunday Salon on Thursday, Because What Is Time, Anyway?

Hey there, readers and friends.

I just wanted to share some bits and pieces from my winter break and holiday with you. 

Here's the slideshow I made for my students in case they wanted ideas about things to do while stuck at home. I highly recommend both Blob Opera and the jigsaw puzzles. I've done a LOT of online puzzles in the past month!

I did not take pictures of my family over the holidays. My kid is in one of those stages where she refuses to let me take candid shots, and honestly, I just didn't think about it much. Here are some of the non-people pictures though.

We got three new board games. I bought us one; my husband bought us one; his brother bought us one. So far we are playing a dumbed down version of Obscurio that we're enjoying, we've figured out the Parks game, and we have yet to dive into Viticulture.

I knit a gnome, though his beard looks sadly like a bib. I also got inspired as I was digging through my yarn and have started knitting myself a pair of socks from some pretty yarn I got at a holiday bazar in 2019. Spot the Reindeer is just there for cuteness.

The daughter of one of my oldest friends got married in September. In July, when I thought I might be able to go, I ordered a pretty dress from eShakti. The wedding had to be scaled back to just family and the couple's closest friends, so I never got to wear the dress. On Christmas day, when my family was in sweats or PJs all day, I decided to wear the dress. Then I declared I was "too pretty" to help in the kitchen. ;)

This year's tree was slimmer than last year's, so we were a bit more discerning in which ornaments we put up. It was sunny the day we got it, so we got to tramp around the tree farm for a good long time looking for the one we wanted. The first place we went had already closed for the season--apparently this year was a skimpy year for trees--and we ended up paying a bit more than I'd like, so...

I used the trimmings from the tree and some clippings from the yard to make a wreath for our door. I like a wild and shaggy wreath, and it definitely would have cost more to buy!

Somewhere along the way, Americans decided that holiday cards are supposed to be photo cards of your family. Traditional types take a family portrait in matching-but-not-exactly outfits. Rebels share some of their favorite snapshots of the year. 

People, I love you (and your kids and dogs), but this is wrong. Holiday cards are supposed to be beautiful, or funny, or sweet. They are supposed to be creative and unique and reflect your own taste. If you want to stick a family photo inside, fine. You do not have to do what my sister does and design and make your own card each year. But since you are so stuck on your boring photo cards, I dedicate an entire ribbon to the cards I've gotten from my sister over the past several years. The bottom two are older ("Peace, Baby" and a folded paper ornament), but now she makes a color pencil piece of art (always incorporating a peace sign and some sort of fairy figure) then shrinks it down and reproduces it. She's also a calligrapher, so she finds some bit of song or poetry and writes that as well. 
Here's this year's:

To be fair, I don't expect anyone else to reach this level of amazingness with their cards, but I was quite happy with these cards from others.  Some are handmade, some are store bought. 

from my niece, whose mom makes the above cards

store bought and a photo my friend's husband took of their pointsettia

handmade and simple--so sweet!

A couple of cute store bought cards.

One morning shortly before my winter break started, I came downstairs to discover my husband had left Spot reading a Jan Brett book. 

Our anniversary is in early December. We used a gift card we'd gotten last Christmas (!) and ordered take-out from a really good local restaurant. I worked that day, so I got the table ready while my husband and kid went to pick up the food. It's usually when we start putting out the holiday décor.

It was the Christmas of Ursula K. Le Guin for me. My daughter gave me So Far, So Good, her final book of poetry, my MIL gave me No Time to Spare, her last book of essays, and my sister gave me earrings of The Left Hand of Darkness. Other outstanding gifts were a set of Pottery Barn towels, the first "nice" towels I've ever had (soft AND absorbant!), a DNA test kit, and some new baking sheets. The family got an Echo Dot from Santa, and although I'm not sure what the point really is, I'm enjoying having music in the background much more often. 

Our weather has alternated between cold and sunny and cool and rainy, which is typical Oregon winter weather. We finally put the garden all the way to bed, though to be honest, this is one of those cases where "we" means "my husband." I got to Zoom with my sisters and nieces, including my 7 year old great niece, one afternoon. Nobody in my bubble is sick, I've got a cup of coffee brewing, and life is just fine today.

Happy 2021!


  1. I love your holiday decorations and commentary on the cards (and your sister is so creative!). We haven't played games all break, but I was just thinking today about playing Bananagrams.

  2. It would be an honor to receive a card from your sister, I think. So lovely.

    I remember well the years (felt like decades) when our kiddos were too cool for candid photos.

    Life does feel just fine today. After all, it's a brand new year.

  3. I love this post! I'm glad you had a nice break! Wishing you great things in 2021!


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