I started this blog as a way to help me process the culture shock I was sure I’d feel when we moved to the mysterious and slightly frightening Deep South. Which it did, but it turned out that the culture shock wasn’t nearly as severe as I’d thought it might be (with a few exceptions - kudzu still gives me the heebie-jeebies and sweet tea is still awful) and adapting turned out to be mostly No Big Thing. Which left me writing about... what? My exciting life as a library volunteer? My Adventures in Baking? Come Look at My Vacation Pictures? I do love to cook, but I’m never going to be one of those amazing food bloggers with beautiful pictures of their serene and impeccable kitchens with spectacular and exotic food, partially because my kitchen is rarely clean enough to photograph, and also because when I cook, I am usually covered in flour and/or up to my elbows in chicken parts, and in no condition to get within 5 feet of my camera.
Besides, I am, by definition, a generalist - many librarians are. I’m interested in LOTS of different things, I read LOTS of different types of books, I like LOTS of different kinds of foods and beverages, and I just can’t see devoting myself or this blog to any one thing - it’s just not how I live my life. And if I did, you probably wouldn’t like it anyway unless you’re really into bread baking (and the effects of humidity on flour and gluten development) or Hardanger embroidery. No, I think it best that I stick to something I shall sum up as Stuff I Find Interesting Enough to Share. That may turn out to be pictures of a neat new local hiking trail we’ve discovered, or an homage to our local gaming store, or a detailed account of a romantic weekend (no, not THAT detailed, gracious me) we took up in the mountains of North Carolina. And perhaps the occasional excursion into my deeper feelings about something important in my life, though those will be less frequent, given my pathological fears about sharing personal stuff on the Interwebs. Oh, and whatever I write, I probably won't be regular about it, so don't get upset if you don't hear from me for a while.
Hi, there! Want to see our Christmas tree?
|Neatly cropped so that you can't see that I'm watching Top Gear. AGAIN.|
Yes, it’s fake - sue me. The Cajun and I had real ones for years, but then we lived in an area where we couldn’t get a nice tree for less than $60, and at those prices, we might as well spend roughly two trees’-worth on a nice artificial one, especially if it means that we don’t have to wrangle the lights every year, and use it forever and ever. Besides, we frequently travel over the holidays, so we don’t have to worry about an incredibly flammable dead tree in the living room while we’re away. The Cajun can be a bit of a grinch (sorry, darling) this time of year*, so I do most of the decorating myself, but he did help me carry the tree downstairs this weekend** and he set it up completely by himself while I was doing other things, so I’m not going to complain. We have many, many ornaments - so many, in fact, that not all of them make it to the tree. So I’ve decided, as the Official Tree Decorator, that the bits that do make it to the tree have to have some kind of personal meaning to Him or Me or Us and/or they have to be extremely pretty. Points are deducted for glitter (because I am also the Official Carpet Vacuumer).
Want to see a few (bet you’re wishing about now that I’d gone for the vacation pictures, aren’t you?)? Just a few, I promise.
This one was a gift from two of our very dearest friends, purchased at one of the wonderful glass shops in Corning, NY (HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the glass museum there, by the way.) for us. It’s enormous and a little heavy, so I always have to spend some time searching for the perfect (i.e., strong) branch in just the right location for this one. Isn’t it gorgeous?
There used to be a Hallmark store in Birmingham, close to where The Cajun’s parents lived a bunch of years ago, and we used to stop there whenever we were in town for the holidays and buy an ornament for ourselves. I think this bell was the first one of these we ever bought. Sadly, the store isn’t there any longer, but it had some of the most lovely things (like an angel beagle ornament, complete with a little halo. I won’t inflict that one on you.).
Another ornament we bought together was this glass pickle. Alas, we haven’t been to Germany together yet (someday...), but we have been to EPCOT at Disney World, where there is a wee facsimile of Germany with a great Christmas store. Apparently, hiding a pickle ornament on your Christmas tree is a tradition in some parts of the world. Not in our house, but it does always get us talking about that wonderful trip to Disney.
And finally, this silvery birdie was given to me by my 6th-grade art teacher, Mrs. Ferris, a VERY long time ago, as a thank-you for helping her reorganize the art storage room during rainy recess times. There were 4 or 5 of us who became her “Art Crew” that year, and she made one for each of us. I smile and think of her every year when I take it out of the box.
And that doesn’t include all the ones I’ve cross-stitched over the years*** or the Star Wars ones or the glass balls that The Cajun’s Dad has illustrated with golf scenes or the origami ones I made or the silver flute my parents gave me (the keys don’t work, but you can get a teensy noise out of it) or...
So, a Merry Christmas to you, and I hope to converse with you this year slightly more often than I have over the past year. May it be a fabulous one for us all!
* This is not a criticism. Lots of people have difficulties this time of year, and they have good reasons for it. I ain’t judging.
** We are NOT one of those families that gets the decorations out before the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, for a very good reason. Both my mother and I have birthdays in the first half of December, and family tradition has it that those come FIRST. FIRST, I say.
*** I love stitching Christmas ornaments; they're small and fast. And since my main project is a cushion cover that I've been working on steadily for 2+ years, I like fast.