Pollyanna’s Mellow Merry Christmas

Hey, Anna-Liza here. I have to say, having had a short phone conversation with Lyda on Christmas morning, she sounds like she was going to have a fairly mellow Christmas, too. In spite of her need for a more powerful drill.

We did all our visiting on Sunday the 28th, so we stayed home Christmas Day and were visited by Zombie Son, Knitting Sprite and her boyfriend, and my brother-in-law. The kids didn’t wake us up until 7:30 or so–pretty reasonable for Christmas morning. Of course, VSH had a fire gig at Copper Mountain on Christmas Eve and didn’t get home ’til around midnight, after which he still had a little Christmas prep of his own to do, so he wouldn’t have minded an 8:30 call or even later. Still, he was the one who said to me, “Love, it’s Christmas and we have little kids!”

The kids made do with their stockings until Daddy and Mommy had mugs of hot caffeine to fortify us, and then the grand ripping of paper began. Oh, but wait! You haven’t seen our Christmas tree! This is the one Mr. R. picked, cut down, and dragged to the cabin all by himself (with VSH watching). Here’s the predecorated state:

preparing to decorate

And here’s a shot with decorations newly fixed (after Sparkle Kitty wanted to redecorate the lower tier) and gifts all wrapped and in place. I knew this wouldn’t last long, so I made sure to get a picture.

Decorated, with kitty observer

I had (foolishly, but obsessedly) stayed up later than I had planned to get everything all nice for Christmas. It didn’t take long for that nicely arranged living room to get … altered.

Xmas morning mess

We got the kidlets a lot of “shared” gifts this year–we’ll see if the sharing improves. So far it looks promising. I also got inspired by Marin’s quest for a gift for her nephew and got Mr. B an animatronic white tiger cub. VSH calls it FrankenKitty, but Mr. B really loves it. (He doesn’t see commercials much, so he didn’t know that he was supposed to want the lion cub. There are some advantages to not having cable.)

Here are a few of my favorite gifts:. Knitting Sprite gave VSH a “Folly Pack”–a variety gift pack from New Belgium Brewery, which brews several of our favorite beers. Included is one called “Giddy Up”, which is infused with espresso and lemon peel. I know that sounds strange, but it’s pretty good. She gave me a big bottle of “Domaine de Canton“, a lovely ginger liqueur with a nice little recipe booklet. I want to try some of the cocktails, but this stuff is great just poured over ice.

Zombie Son gave me the most recent album from The Pretenders, Break Up the Concrete. I’m listening to it right now, and I love it. It’s got all the energy of vintage Pretenders, with all the innovation as well. There’s a nice country/rockabilly twist to it (yes, it works) and a little extra punk in the mix as well. The bonus tracks include a remake of “I Go to Sleep” with very rootsy orchestration (and this version made me remember that it’s a waltz), and a duet with Willie Nelson. I think my favorite track at the moment is “Boots of Chinese Plastic”, with “Rosalee” and “Almost Perfect” tying for second. But I don’t think there’s a track on here that I dislike.

And VSH got me two more voice lessons with Ariana Saraha, which is pretty exciting. I’ve only had two lessons, but I really like her approach and her very detailed knowledge of vocal anatomy and the physical aspects of producing a singing voice. I also find singing with her to be very meditative–I find myself really existing entirely in the moment, with no room for stray thoughts. I don’t even have to try!

Sunday was our visiting day–we went to see VSH’s grandmother and his aunt and uncle who live in the mountains near Golden. This also turned out to be a very relaxed day. The nightmare stories you hear of family politics turning intense at Christmastime just don’t seem to apply–for which I am deeply grateful! I actually did finish the set of washcloths for VSH’s grandmother, and she really liked them. They are pink and white (pink is her favorite color) and I used the “Ballband Dishcloth” pattern from the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I finished a third one but decided to keep it. We came up with other gifts for everyone else (mostly beer). I also finished Mr B’s mousie slippers! (Pictures later, I promise!)

You know, I could ramble on forever and not come to a close. I’ll give you a little rundown later on the Kitteh’s Christmas and why Sparkle Kitty is totally able to emotionally blackmail me. In the meantime, Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones.

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