Merry ChrOMG THE BRANDY’S GONE!

Rather than sleep in today, I set my alarm in order to get up and get a good shot of our mountains in the beautiful pink dawn light.  When the alarm went off, I was insulted by the volume and shut the thing off.  That’ll teach you! I thought.  I’ll take the shot at sundown.

Two minutes later I was up, blinking in an offending brightness radiating through the window blinds .  The thought of an empty, quiet morning was too tempting to pass up.

It was an absolutely gorgeous morning as I watched the sun come up and set the mountains aglow.

San Gabriel Mountains 12-25-13

San Gabriel Mountains 12-25-13

And for the first time I understood that this section we see from home

Christmas morning mountains, once the light turned yellow

Christmas morning mountains, once the light turned yellow

is here, just west of my View Club shot:

Back to the pink.

Long ago my parents gave up putting presents under the tree because they overwhelmed the poor thing.  Instead they heaped one of the living room couches with a hoard that spilled over the furniture and crept out across the floor.  This year’s collection, however, fits nicely in a single layer spread over the cushions.

And one refurbished, TARDIS-blue side table

A refurbished, TARDIS-blue side table.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a less consumerist holiday.  I’ve been trying to steer my family in that direction for years.  But this isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity.  I know my parents would bury that couch in presents if they could.

I need a hot toddy.  Already.

I put the water on to boil and head out to the garage, where a very old bottle of brandy sits patiently waiting to offer a nip.  My people –  this branch anyway – are not drinkers, you see.  (And for all my talk I’m not much of one either, which is why it works so well.)  I don’t know why the brandy was purchased, but I remember it from my childhood.  Over the past 30 years it’s made the rounds through various cabinets and pantries until it came to reside in the garage refrigerator.

Hey!  Where's the...?

Hey! Where’s the…?

What happened to the...?

What happened to the…?

*gasp*  THE BRANDY’S GONE!  WHY IS THE BRANDY GONE???  *having a Jack Sparrow moment*

I sulk back into the house, empty a few expired envelopes of instant milk tea into a handled soup bowl, and continue to pout.

By now the rest of the house is waking up.  People shuffle into the kitchen and wonder aloud what the heck I’m looking for as I climb through kitchen cabinets.  Before they realize I’m an aspiring lush I flop down in front of my laptop and pretend I just need caffeine.  I avoid looking at the half-empty couch.

Nobody pulls off purple Christmas like my mom.

Nobody pulls off purple Christmas like my mom.

Eventually breakfast danishes are produced and everyone takes their place to open presents.

Chocomel, a Dutch chocolate milk drink, cleverly disguised as laundry soap.  And my sister making happy screechy noises.

Chocomel, a Dutch chocolate milk drink, cleverly disguised as laundry soap. And my sister making happy screechy noises.

Travis the money-hiding toilet paper.  And Drew the odd, toilet-paper-naming teenager.

Travis the money-hiding toilet paper. And Drew the odd, toilet-paper-naming teenager.

Honestly I wasn’t expecting presents for myself, but look!

Pretty artwork for my room.

A pretty thing for my wall!

And look what else!

A pretty book for my collection!

A pretty thing for my bookshelf!

J9 trivia:  I collect picture books.  (Here’s some eye candy from the first love of my life.)  Not only do I love Graeme Base as an illustrator, but Animalia is an alphabet book!  I ask you, is there a better gift for a book-loving, soon-to-be Oma?  Eeeeee!

The day is nowhere near over, but I suppoooooose I must concede that brandy hasn’t been necessary so far.

Merry Christmas everyone!

It’s Over!

The semester is over!  O-v-e-r, oh vee ee are, over over OVER!!!  Woooooooo Hooooooo!!!!!  I am so happy; can you tell I’m so happy?  Because I am so happy.  I’m gonna…yes “gonna”…say it again because this semester is in. The.  Can, people!  Over over over!!!  Free at last, free at…

Okay that’s enough.

This has been the most grueling semester yet:  English Literature, Modern Drama, and Cultural Anthropology.  I don’t know how anyone can handle more than that at one time.  I could barely handle these three.  I know I passed Anthro because I loved that class, and I know I passed Modern Drama because I loved that class, too.  English Lit, however, is still up in the air.

I shouldn’t have an excuse.  It’s not like I’m an irresponsible twenty-something who’d rather be out partying, but I am a 40-nothing with lots of other stuff to clog up my mind.  Still, that’s not why the class was hard.  It was just hard!  My old brain doesn’t understand the point of analyzing the hell out of a piece of literature.   I felt like we were beating the poor things to death.

And we beat them with this massive book!

And we beat them with this massive book!

I refused to start any fun new projects until finals were over, so now that they are, it’s knitting time!  Last year my sister and I taught ourselves (with the help of You Tube) how to loom knit.  This year I am dedicated to learning new patterns.  So far, bust.  I ended up with unraveled skeins of yarn instead of new interesting hats.  I am determined, however, to make something great, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are the hats not being made.

In the meantime, here are hats not being made.

I got one view shot in on Finals Day

San Gabriel Mountains 12-10-13

San Gabriel Mountains 12-10-13

but the real star of the show was the gorgeous sky!

Gorgeous sky

Gorgeous sky

We have had gloriously clear weather…just the kind that bores me.  Bring on the rain!  But I have to admit sometimes that our climate really is lovely.

I mean really, who can whine when there are sunflowers in December?

I mean really, who can whine when there are sunflowers in December?