Saturday, December 31, 2011

Scenes from a Vacation

Happy Nearly New Year! It's been a lovely holiday so far. And there are still a few days of vacation left.

I started off my vacation by taking in a rendition of The Santaland Diaries with a friend from work, which I really enjoyed. Then M and I bore down and prepared our abode for visitors.

M's mom was first, arriving on Tuesday after her drive up from Placentia. We used her visit as motivation to finally dine at Bistro 29, which we enjoyed. We spent a spring-like Wednesday in The City, taking in the Masters of Venice exhibit at the de Young Museum and wandering over to the Conservatory of Flowers. After a little driving tour we had dinner at the Ferry Building. Thursday they spent luncheoning on seafood overlooking Tomales bay while I ran errands and finally created our Christmas card. Costco makes it easy to procrastinate! We had dinner in, watched The Princess Bride, then bid her safe travels Friday morning.

Mom and Don came down Saturday, and we had a nice time preparing for our Christmas Eve meal with Jay, Denise, Felicia, and Erin, an occasion to use the wedding china. M did his first turkey on the rotisserie.

It was a pleasant and quiet Christmas Day. We visited with the Axtells of Redding again and the Reids in their fab new pad. Some friends of theirs were spending the holidays in LA, so a picking party was dispatched to Forestville to relieve them of a surfeit of tangerines. That was a fun activity. Some knitting was accomplished, leftovers consumed, and Don was kind enough to tackle the branches of the encroaching oak tree.

Mom and Don took the dogs while M and I repaired to Chico to meet up with Dad and the sibling clans. It was a mellow family visit, grouping in various formations, mostly around meals. It was good to have both big group dinners and smaller breakfasts with Dad and the brothers. The trip also coincided with end of Felicia's college days at CSU Chico, an event I'm still trying to get my head around. She' adult. How did that happen? Unfortunately M contracted a cough that he is still combatting.

On the way home from Chico, we spent a very brief time on the coast collecting the canines and eating well as usual.

This time away from the office has made it quite clear to me that work is interfering substantially with my knitting projects. Not all have been successful, unfortunately. The first laptop cozy felted up laughably small, while the second wasn't much better. Felicia's slippers turned out pretty well, however, and I whipped her up what I hope she agrees is a cute hat from my stash (green chenille with some silver bling). How could she go to Germany in winter without one? Shocking.

In other activities: I finished Emma and really enjoyed it. I'm back to the Master & Commander series for a bit. I've baked bread, made some bean soup, continued on my braising kick. Use of the Fitbit has been marginal (it took its own little technical vacay during the Chico visit), but it continues to remind me to be more active, with moderate success. Today we took a trip to the massive Salvation Army in Lytton Springs then saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie. Will I make it awake to the ringing in of the new year?

Two hours and twenty-two minute to midnight. What will 2012 hold? The neighbors are already igniting fireworks (I've put a blanket on the sofa to accommodate Roxy's phobia--laps are apparently the only safe port in a gun powder storm for her) and blowing noisemakers to ward off evil spirits. On the way home from picking up the dogs, we heard a Fresh Air interview with Maurice Sendak. It was a very tearful and heartfelt and thoughtful retrospective at the the end of his life. He concluded the conversation with this good advice: "Live your life. Live your life. Live your life."


At 6:33 AM, January 01, 2012, Blogger Brenda said...

I love your post, as usual. The family photos are fabulous. I have a good feeling about this coming year!

At 12:09 PM, January 01, 2012, Blogger elm said...

Thank you Suzanne for a good read. I love them long, and am happy with them short.

We stayed up till almost 10:30. Kalyani made an h.d. dinner which we took to her basement and watched almost 2 movies- from the Lord of the Rings series, in blue ray! Finish the series tonight.

At 8:34 PM, January 01, 2012, Blogger Brenda said...

Don and I watched the ball drop in NYC, gave each other New Year kisses and went to bed.


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