new year


Cartoon showing baby representing New Year 190...

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I never really left school. I went from university to teaching, so the calendar year never altered for me. August kicks off the new year in a way that January just never did.

It’s funny really that the year officially rolls over in January yet many people mark the passage of time with the school calendar or the fiscal year, which is July or October usually, depending on your occupation. January 1st is just Christmas’s less interesting sibling.

Back in the day, I would have already been in my classroom and probably completely ready to go by now. I made it a habit to crack the seal on my “office” door the first week of August. I’d spend the mornings cleaning, organizing, decorating and finally planning. I typically outlined the entire year before breaking it down by semester and then grading periods and finally daily lesson plans. I rocked really.

August, therefore, feels like the time to plan. With Dee heading back to school, I have free hours during the day that need direction.

Direction that isn’t laundry or baking or cleaning.

Briefly I toyed with applying for a job at the museum in town. They are looking for a program assistant. It’ teacher work. Organizing and brainstorming. I would totally be in my element. Curriculum. History. Teaching. Some of my favorite things in life. The work is even part-time and mostly flexible, but the bulk is Tuesday and Thursday, and I am already committed to teaching yoga at the community hall in the evenings. The potential for the whole thing to turn into long days in the hellmouth is fair to good.

I’m gearing up to have myself added to the city’s yoga teacher sub list, and I’m going to take a couple of classes to get ready to e-publish a few short works that are a bit too niche for the bigger markets. That’s enough on top of home and family though I struggle still with the stay at home thing. Four years out of the workforce is a freakish feeling for someone who spent nearly 30 years of her life working. And with the economy in free-fall again, I get itchy.

But we don’t need me working part-time for peanuts, which screws us at tax time, and me going back to teaching adds unnecessary stress to our daily lives because the juggling of household chores and kid is no small thing. The pressure to work outside the home rears up though. Not as often as in the first years and usually driven by  something coming up that my working wouldn’t fix anyway.

It’s better that I stick to my original plan, which could pan out more profitably in the longer term with a bit of luck and nose to the keyboard.

Need to put my father’s daughter to bed once and for all and concentrate on the ball in play.


Happy New Rabbit Year!

Image by jijis via Flickr

As I have totally pushed the silliness about my zodiac sign disappearing into some unpronounceable and decidedly undesirable “lost sign” out of my mind (despite the fact that my husband thinks the new one suits me better), I must confess that I much prefer the nuance of Chinese astrology anyway.

I am a Rabbit, so this is sort of my year. Born in a water year with an ascendant Dragon (that’s the equivalent of a rising sign), I have found that the Chinese seem to know me a bit better than the Greeks. Though my daughter persists in her belief that I am a daughter of Zeus when she’s not reimagining her family as an alpha wolf pack.

Alpha, not Omega.

“Omegas are just silly and play all day, Mom,” she said.

She was born in the year of the Horse. A cause of great despair to have a daughter born in a Horse year. Sis’s youngest was born in the sign of the Horse and having observed her from birth to college – I am going to have to agree. I shudder a bit at the future.

Curiously, in both astrological universes I tend to gravitate towards completely unsuitable mates., a Virgo born in the year of the Metal Ox and a Scorpio Water Ox. Oxen though are grounded, stubborn and get the job done types and Rabbits? Probably not so much. I must be pretty awesome for anyone to pick up the cross that is me.

But today is the beginning of the new year in many Asian cultures and countries. It’s so much more festive and fraught with symbolism and possibility than the staid Western new year, in my opinion. There are dragons and parades and predictions for everyone and thing.

In the West we get top ten lists up the ying-yang and drunkenness.

Hmmm. I think we get gypped.

So anyway, I read that life in the year of your Chinese sign is anything but smooth. Up and down. Conflict. Possibly pestilence and revolution. Which confuses me because these are all things that Rabbits avoid like the second coming of another Bush dynasty. But Rabbit years have a mixed history.

Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in the summer of 1963, a Rabbit year, but JFK was assassinated that November. And I was born in the last weeks of the year though that’s probably neither here nor there.

1975 saw the end of a horrific recession. Score one for the Rabbit. But 1987 saw one of the first Wall Street crashes that have plagued us ever since.

Hard to tell what might happen this year. But with fascism’s slow creep across the United States and it being the kick off of yet another election cycle (its small wonder that no actual governing is ever accomplished in a country where officials mostly run for office and never really settle in long enough to work), things look bleak. And that’s minus the Four Horsemen like weather that’s occurring at the moment.

Oh yeah and there’s that revolution thing that appears to be sweeping the Middle East.

Conflict.

We hates conflict. Witness my tooth issues as prime example number one. I changed dentists because I loathed the hygienist I was assigned to instead of simply risking hurting the guy’s feelings (it was a sure risk by the way because the guy is very sensitive), I tried out someone new.

The hygienist was awesome. The dentist screwed up my bottom molars and I am probably going to lose the back one at the very least.

And I am still ducking the question of having my teeth cleaned. They ask. I hedge.

This is how much of a Rabbit I am.

Rabbits look cuddly. But they are not. Although some Asian cultures refer to the sign as The Cat. I think cats are too aloof and disinterested to really convey the personalities of those of us born in those years.

Although I love that old Al Stewart song, Year of the Cat, don’t you?

I secretly like to think I am this incredibly awesome, but sadly, I think not so much.

Middle daughter, Mick, has a rabbit. Cunning and destructive. She could be a character in a Stephen King short story. The rabbit. Not Mick. However if Mick were a character in the story with the Rabbit, it wouldn’t end well.

Mick’s rabbit “escapes” periodically and disappears.

Nothing could induce me to drop an animal out the window of a moving vehicle on a deserted Range Road faster than a bunny that occasionally turned up missing and then just as creepily – reappeared.

But despite the bunny’s destructive ways and eerie vanishing acts, Mick believes that one day it will come to love her.

If it doesn’t dispatch her one night as she sleeps and then opens the window to let the magpies in.

Shudder.

But back to the Year of the Rabbit. Don’t get comfortable. Don’t imagine Peter Rabbit. Think something along the lines of fur balls returning from the Pet Semetary. And you’ll probably be okay.

 

 


Postcard picture for New Year's; eBay store We...

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I bring this up only because I was recently reminded that the last decade was fraught with “two-thousand this and that year” as people balked about the “aught” they ought to have employed.

For the fourth year running, we did nothing at all to mark the change-over. I haven’t gone out on New Year’s Eve since 2006 when I ended up at a local restaurant with a couple of girlfriends, one of whom – my BFF – tried to pick up strangers for me.

I had a little black dress for the occasion that I ended up not wearing because the evening was bitterly cold and icy. I think I was in bed by midnight and if I remember correctly, I chatted via email a bit with Rob. He’d gotten a midnight phone call from some widow on the board, who was stalking him with increasing intensity.

Aside from that low-key ringing in of 2007, the Aught’s weren’t noted for festivity on New Year’s Eve for me. I think 2000 was the last party I attended and I am pretty certain I haven’t had a raucous birthday celebration since that year as well.

Oh, I am dull.

Being stricken with colds from the depths of Tartarus, Rob and I cuddled up and watched the last few episodes of season four Tudors and then listened as the neighbors ran up and down the back alley blowing paper horns and shouting.

Fortunately, there were no gunshots trumpeting the new year as well. Back in the day, when I lived in Valley Junction, shotgun blasts cracked the midnight hour along with illegally obtained fireworks from just over the Iowa-Missouri border.

Sleep eluded me a bit due to congestion and an overall inability to find a non-awful position to sleep in. About five or so, I stumbled to the bathroom for pharmaceuticals to relieve blocked airways and some ibuprofen for the aches and pains and then slept til nearly noon.

It’s 4:38 as I type this and very little has been accomplished by me though Rob is grimly stripping sixty year old goo off the stud walls and wiring the front room for future awesomeness.

For Dee I created a knife and a lightening bolt out of paper towel rolls. She got the latest Rick Riordan novel from her great-auntie and we’ve been burning through it every evening before bed. The child desperately wants to be a child of a god and fight monsters. She’s torn between Zeus and Hades – don’t ask me why.  She’d rather be a child of Athena, I think, but she can’t bear to give me up as her mother.

I did manage a bit of online shopping for proper wedding wear. Though I prefer to try things on, between the driving and dealing with humans, online is easier and quicker.

We are flying to the Okanogan in a few weeks for Rob’s mother’s nuptials.

The Fiance is a nice man. Retired Air Force. Former drag-racer. Current collector of coins. Both Rob and Silver got on well with him as they found that easy language of men who reno and tinker. I noted that he and MIL don’t have many shared topics. Whenever one was talking the other’s eyes glazed, but what brings people together and holds them goes beyond laundry lists and hobbies – in my opinion. They held hands, shared knowing looks and somehow weathered a few revelations that I imagine would have torpedoed a good many couples when combined with family meet/greet and holiday stress.

Last year, aside from Spring Break in Iowa and a couple of camping weekenders, there was precious little vacationing. This year there is the upcoming wedding jaunt followed closely by Spring Breaking w/fam in the States and not long after – a week at the time-share in Fairmont. And all before summer, with its camping, arrives. Bounty indeed.

But I went casual for the wedding with Dee and I in a tunic and shirt dress respectively paired with leggings. MIL’s first wedding to Rob’s father was a Protestant church affair, so she is going all out Catholic with the trimmings this time.

“Have you ever been a to Catholic wedding mass?” I asked Rob to which he replied with a “have we met?” look.

“They can be … lengthy.”

He grimaced but with a “I’ll man up” undertone and I have to admit, I am less than enthused myself. I haven’t been to mass since dad’s funeral and before that I hadn’t bothered with church for several years.

For Dee the exotic nature of Catholic mass has worn off. When she was wee, she loved going with her Grandmother and cousin, but that was when wiggling, non-attentiveness was cute. At nearly nine, she can’t roam the pew, climbing and scooting without irritating or reflecting poorly on our parenting skills. Would her DS be beyond bounds of acceptable distraction or would a book be better?

I sometimes tried to sneak a novel along when I was in my young teens. Mom wasn’t that observant but Dad was a hawk. Most of the time, I read ahead in the missals. As a result, I am extraordinarily well versed in the bible for a Catholic.

As a treat, we’ve booked a suite at a resort hotel on the lake. Dee is elated. I am a bit paranoid about bedbugs and lice, but there’s a saltwater pool at least. We swam a bit at the Hampton, where MIL and Fiance stayed this last week. The water was so heavily chlorinated it gave me a semi-rash on my legs and scorched my sinuses. I haven’t tried saltwater and am hoping for the best.

Rob’s sister and her fella might be at the wedding too, so it has the makings of a family “do”.

The older kids would have a hard time getting time off and throw church into the mix – not much incentive to try.

Off to gag down  a cup of herbal tea and find a sweater, ironically, the warming trend here makes the house colder.

It’s twenty-eleven. Remember that now. No good to look stupid in the opening days of the new year after all.


Australia Day Fireworks

Image by Sam Ilić via Flickr

Top tenning is THE new year eve’s week thing to do in the blogosphere.  Mostly because bloggers need vacation time too.

Thanks to the wonderful tech team at WordPress’s need to constantly justify their paychecks, I have a plethora of data aggregating goodies to help keep track of posts by popularity.

So here are the top ten posts by page views at anniegirl1138 for the year we are about to bid adieu:

10) Brad Pitt shaved the scraggly thing off months ago, but it lives on in my post about goatees and dead husbands.

9) Though I’ve successfully steered my daughter away from the cash-grabbing universe of “dance” studios, my contempt remains. Remember the Single Ladies? 9 year olds hoochie dancing for the dirty old men who troll the Internet?

8) Although I wrote this ages ago and it’s true intent has been repeatedly misunderstood, Angelina’s non-weight problems continues to be a big draw.

7) Another oldie but goldie, Lisa Parker still pulls readers and comments.

6) It’s hardly the only Facebook Meme worthy of scorn (I ignored the equally awful Movember Movement), but breast cancer awareness meme’s, and pink ‘s co-option by Susan Komen for that matter, sparked a rant that people read.

5) Jennifer Petkov was another post that missed its mark but certainly got read.

4) I’d originally planned to write this for Care2, or maybe I did and it got rejected, regardless, young and dumb in America was a huge hit.

3) Jillian Michaels is a poor role model and apparently I am not the only one who thinks so.

2) Musing on my life of plenty.

1) And the biggest post of the year? Women with no basic understanding of dressing for body type.

“You know,” my husband observed as he glanced through this list, “not one of these posts is about your family … or me.”

“Can you believe that? ” I said, “No one wants to read about you guys.”

“I am dismayed, disappointed and disgusted, ” he replied, ” but not surprised.”

Nor am I.  My best stuff is usually not the most popular, but that is the bane of all bloggers.

I hope you enjoyed the year’s effort and will continue to read in the new year.


Happy New Year 1910!

Image by Puzzler4879 A Blessed New Year To All via Flickr

As the last days of 2010 speed by, some of us are plotting new courses for a new year, and this means – naturally – making those awful, and often fruitless, resolutions.

Most people concentrate on the concrete. Resolving to lose weight, which more often ends up with the health club having a fatter wallet and no significant body improvements for them save a skinnier bank account. Diet improvement or renouncing counter-productive habits are biggies, as is the ever popular “getting organized”.

Make-overs are big because of the broad applications. Nearly anything can be “made over” and “improved”.

A smaller portion of the population tackles the interior with goals intended to improve, cultivate or jettison relationships.

Typically, I don’t make resolutions anymore. I have goals but my success is not measured by how quickly they are achieved. Rather I look at how they incorporate into my life and I would say that my goals are in a constant state of refinement as I pursue them in a non-manic way.

One thing I have noticed about myself as I head into my fourth year living in Canada, is that I am more and more myself.

In my old life back in Iowa, there were obligations and responsibilities that obliged me to stifle who I am more often than was good for me (though it probably benefited a small group of others). I don’t employ many of the checks by which life was precariously balanced. Nor do I masque myself.

Oh, I can still be inscrutable, but more often, what you see is who I am.

This year, I resolve to continue being more and more myself.

Perhaps you might too. It would certainly be easier and more inexpensive than a lot of other superficial options.

In case I don’t see you again before the new year, have a joyous and peaceful one, dear reader.

You were not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them, and fly.
-Rumi


La Catrina – In Mexican folk culture, the Catr...

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Halloween once marked the beginning of the holiday season that stretched from October’s end to the New Year.

When I finally became a homeowner in the summer of 1997, I felt free to decorate and celebrate with abandon. I dressed up for Halloween to hand out candies and had pumpkins and lights.

And it only became more awesome when Will and I became a couple the following fall and the tradition of building and working the Jaycee Haunted House began.

I was a Corpse Bride long before Tim Burton thought of it. In a tattered white gown with a purple-streaked black wig, skeleton mask and black leggings, I sprayed my exposed arms with white hairspray and slipped skeletal gloves over my hands to slink along the hallways of a pitch dark maze, scaring the bejeezus out of teenagers.

Hand me a chainsaw (defanged, naturally) and I floored them literally. There is nothing like that revving roar to turn people around and create a terrific panic.

By the time Will was too sick to notice Halloween, there was Dee to consider. While our friends reared their kids in the corridors of the construction of the haunted house and had them running about during the running, Dee has always been too .. tender … for that. Her dad’s illness aside, we would have ended that tradition anyway.

So this naturally shifted to fairy and princess costumes and Trick or Treat. Beggar’s Night it was called in Des Moines. An odd tradition of kids telling jokes for treats and the celebration was never held on the 31st. Don’t ask me why. I tried to ascertain the rationale for shifting it to the 30th but never heard the same explanation and as nearly as I could figure it grew out of a mixture of the rabid Christian culture and a misguided notion that teens would be less inclined toward mayhem if it wasn’t the actual Halloween date.

And then we came to Canada.

The first year I suggested decorating the yard as a cemetery, but Rob wasn’t keen even though he’d once endured the scorn of his Bible thumping Kansas neighbors over a fake cemetery he erected in their yard when the older girls were a bit older than Dee.

Shelley, I am told, loved Halloween and dressing up in elaborate costumes. She’s passed this along to both Edie and Mick. This year, for example, Mick designed and sewed costumes based on Alice in Wonderland. And Mick always had multiple costumes a year as they make the rounds of the various to-do’s in the city.

Dee also has a box of costumes that she adds to every year. She is a huge fan of dress up play anyway and I have done nothing to squelch this instinct. Her scariest costume is a ghost number that I picked up at Walmart a few days after Dad died in ’08 and we Trick or Treated old school suburbia with DNOS, BIL, our two and a gaggle of neighborhood kids.

Day of the Dead, however, is not Halloween. Even Halloween is a corruption if original intent counts for anything.

The 7th grade team I worked with in middle school got it into their heads to construct a cooperative unit around Day of the Dead one year. One of our teachers was enamoured of the Hispanic tradition and being a former nun had more affinity to the November 1st Christian observance than the 31st.

At any rate, we weren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween. Our population had a sizable number of extremely wing-nut Christians. One of the local churches actually bordered scarily on “cult”, so my co-worker pushed the Day of the Dead idea, which is ironic because it is more objectionable than costumes and candies on many levels.

I was lukewarm.

First, it’s a tradition that is not symbolic and one really needs to be raised in it to not find it distasteful and/or morbid. North Americans are death fearing to the point that most of us see death as a personal affront that simply should not happen in our modern times. That death is the natural progression and that much of the early death that occurs is due to modern times collateral damage – we simply don’t want to acknowledge.

Second, I loathed dealing with the family trauma that bubbled like toxic sludge just below the surface of most of our students’ lives. Parents who would be skeptical or hostile and require much coddling and cajoling* also factored into my reluctance.

Finally, Day of the Dead is religious. There is no getting around it and we were a public school. Separation of church and state and all that entails. If we weren’t studying the traditions surrounding death in all cultures in addition to Day of the Dead then what we were doing was highly questionable.

But, we did it anyway.

And it was a minor disaster that dredged up emotional muck, angered some parents, offended the über-Christians and was a small joke to a small segment of the students, who insisted on honoring their dead pets.

Traditions that honor the departed are widespread around the world. The more death-fearing a culture, however, the less likely one is to find them. What one notices instead is a fixation on the grisly and horrific.

When I was young, November 1st was the anti-climax. We went to mass. It was boring in comparison to the evening before which meant running the neighborhoods in costume with hordes of other children, trailed by uninterested parents or older siblings. In my family, the dead were considered honored through masses and living our lives to their full potential. They also endured through the wonderful memories passed along through stories.

So here is one for you:

My dad and his siblings had a couple of horses they shared between them. Co-ownership was not unusual. The family was poor and there were five children. For example, they had a single pair of skis that they took turns with out in the pasture until my dad’s oldest brother collided with a pig and broke the poles.

One of the horse’s was a gray mare named Blue. Dad’s youngest brother, who died when he was 39, took Blue one day when he and a neighbor were heading to the creek – probably the one at my now departed as well Great-Uncle’s place down the road. When they arrived and dismounted, my uncle left Blue standing by a tree.

“Aren’t you going to tie him up?” his friend asked.

“Nah,” he replied and continued walking.

The friend ran to catch up, casting a glance back at the horse which appeared to be content and uninterested in wandering off.

“Well, aren’t you afraid she’ll run off?

To which my uncle said, “Blue’s blind. She don’t even know we’ve left.”

There is no record of what the friend thought about having traversed a good mile up and down hilly fields and narrow dirt paths on a blind horse that my uncle barely bothered to “steer”.

A happy and peaceful day of the dead to you and yours.


Last New Year’s Eve found me on the computer at midnight after an earlier dinner out with my friends, Vicki and C.J. At one point in the evening two gentlemen were sending us drinks but while Vicki egged them on, I just felt as though they were pushing in where they were not wanted – at least by me. As I cruised the net into the wee hours I would periodically check my mail for a message from Rob. He had said he would write when he got back from B.C. where he spent Christmas with the girls and in-laws. I found the following message from him:

Ann,

Just checking in to see how your holidays and New Year went. I have to confess that I already know a bit from reading your latest blog entries – I hope you don’t mind? Anyways, I hope it was as good as it could be for you and Katy. I trust that Santa was good to her.

I have to confess also that I continue to be a bit surprised and amazed at how you articulate (in your posts and in your blogs) much of what I find myself thinking these days. That whole new widow/hollow eye thing at Katy’s grief group – that’s kind of how I feel about new members on ywbb. I find myself avoiding those forums, those posts. I just can’t spare any more of me to share that much pain, I guess.

The holidays passed well enough for me and my girls. We spent just the right amount of time (maybe a bit too much) with Shelley’s sister on the coast (of BC); after a few days, well let’s just say that a few days is enough. Got to do some of the usual things while there – one day a couple of hours kayaking along the coast with BIL, a couple of days hiking in the nearby parks. I’ve been placing some of Shelley’s ashes at select places – places that held special meaning to her or us or were just her favourite places. I found two more such places while visiting on the coast. Travel was uneventful both ways for the most part – weather cooperated and highways were good enough. At least, we stayed on the road and that’s what counts.

Interesting event last night. After we got home, the girls both departed for their respective NYE plans and I called and begged off from where I had been invited – too tired after 12 hours of driving. I was doing a little e-mail and internetting (that damned addiction) and a little after midnight (my time) the phone rings. Who could that be? Turns out it was my new ywbb friend – calling to wish me a happy new year. It was a bit awkward given that we haven’t spoken before – just e-mail and IM. I am amazed at her courage, but I will say it was nice to have someone call out of the blue to say they were thinking of me. Since I don’t really have that anymore.

Well, I’m starting to run to the maudlin here, so will close for now. I’m hoping for better things in the new year. Starting back to work tomorrow morning (if I can get up at 6 am……). And organizing a ‘bago dinner for the weekend after next will take up a bit of time. Not to mention the butterflies that go along with meeting a group of new people, widows no less.

Again, hope the holidays went well and wishing you and Katy all the best for 2007!

Take care.
Rob

I replied.

Rob,

Glad your holiday went well. No I don’t mind that you
read the blog. I am trying not to neglect it the way I
did last month. I need to write and get back to
working through the knots in my novel. Need to make
more of an effort to stay away from YWBB as it is
sucking up time I could use for more productive
pursuits. A goal for the new year. I have pretty much
given up the other widows’ site in the UK that I also
visited, so I can probably give this one up too. It
either swamps me with other people’s grief or makes me
feel guilty for not grieving enough. Chat is boring
me. IM is starting to annoy me with it’s impersonal
feel as well.

Lucky you to get a phone call. I am going to guess
that this was not your train wreck friend. It’s nice
to have someone real to talk to and who cares enough
to check up. I got a call too, but I am not as pysched
about it.

It sounds like you had fun last week with some
favorite activities. That’s good. You probably need
that before starting back to work. I am impressed with
the time and care and thought you have put into your
memorializing. I had thought about scattering some of
Will’s ashes but couldn’t bring myself to open the
container or keep any in the house. I sleep with the
lights on too often as it is. I hope you don’t mind
that I read your posts about your trip in the fall. It
was interesting. I looked up the pictures too. Made me
smile. Will always wore a cap. Pittsburgh Steelers. He
would have loved the truck too.

The bago CJ is planning is at the end of the month.
She doesn’t think we will have many people but that’s
okay. You have to start somewhere. Meanwhile, we have
the Governor’s ball on the 12th. Music and dancing. I
am hoping that I won’t be as reticent as I was last
night with the two guys bought us drink. I need
practice I suppose.

School starts Wednesday. I am hoping to be there but I
have been in bed nearly all day with something. I feel
awful and can’t decide if it is flu or bronchitis. I
will probably try to see my doctor in the morning. I
didn’t want to risk the walk-in clinic today. You can
sit for hours on a holiday and that just increases the
odds of catching something nastier on top of what you
have already. Next week is finals which is an easy
week.

Have a good day tomorrow.
Ann

Not exactly the stuff of romance novels, but that wasn’t to be us for a while yet.

Last night we shared a midnight kiss in the bathroom doorway because we lost track of the time getting ready for bed and there were teenagers prowling about yet. We finished one of the most depressing dvd’s to date (a difficult feat, believe me) called Winter Passing with Ed Harris, Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. Suicide. Widowhood. Complicated grieving. More – almost – suicide. You know, typical happy new year stuff. I have to shrug and laugh a bit as we keep the streak of downer movies alive.

This morning it was just the three of us – Rob, Katy and I – at breakfast. Our guest were still slumbering. Tea, smoothies, fresh cherries and pancakes. Topped off by a team effort (minus Katy) to complete the NY Times crossword (I think they threw us a bone for the end of the year).

My sister-in-law emerged from the guest row in full woe-is-me ultra-apologetic form. We countered her with the bright side and she retreated again. You just can’t throw to much of the light of practicality on people who are determined to feel neglected and cursed by the universe.

As the afternoon begins we are making are escape for the city. Rob has been hauling junk out of the basement and garage for a week or so now and stuff needs to go before our yard takes on to much of a white trash aura. I am writing and finishing up my scanning of the Canadian Writer’s Market book that I got from Rob for Christmas. I am paying particular attention to those publications which inform one that “we can’t pay for submissions right now” but pleas submit anyway. Those suit me best as I can’t be paid until I have my PR status approved in another, hopefully, three-ish months.

A quiet afternoon in the truck tooling the city and then home to the dry sauna, shower and partake of the yummy homemade soy-chicken soup I have going in the slow-cooker. Sis-in-law and children made it to the grocery story yesterday as they have tired of being polite and eating our organic, healthy fare. I was telling Rob right before they arrived that I am growing impatient with the idea that I must bend to the eating habits of the world in general even in my own home. My many food intolerance’s are not of any concern to the world. Whenever we eat out or eat at someone’s home, I am forced to pick and forage as I may. Let them “eat cake” when they come to visit me is my new motto.

So, a Happy New Year to all who are reading this. A special thanks to Marsha and Sally my most faithful readers and commenters who keep me grounded with their wisdom. Also a welcome to The Girl Left Behind and a thank you for reading. Finally, an “I love you” to my Rob – my editor and biggest fan.

My horoscope for 2007 informed me that the year would be one on the order of great. This year’s prediction is much the same. I wonder if we make these predictions a reality through belief, hard work or both?