Thrust to the Heart on New Year's Eve

Millie's on the couch reading Les Miserables on a Kindle.  Chuckling, she just brought it to me, with the following portion highlighted for my edification:

You have but one fault, O woman, and that is nibbling sugar. O nibbling sex, your pretty little white teeth adore sugar. Now, heed me well, sugar is a salt. All salts are withering. Sugar is the most desiccating of all salts; it sucks the liquids of the blood through the veins; hence the coagulation, and then the solidification of the blood; hence tubercles in the lungs, hence death. That is why diabetes borders on consumption.  Then, do not crunch sugar, and you will live.


(Almost) Real Time

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me an uncomfortable lesson in humility. (Sing it with me now!)

This early bird drinks tea while I swig coffee.  It's shaping up to be one of those days.  Yesterday, the children and I decluttered and ordered most of the upstairs and downstairs, as much as one can order them in a household of ten that-- especially in this Christmas season-- owns too much stuff, and today I planned to spend a ten-hour day tackling the basement.  It's been the dumping ground for several weeks, and I never even finished the "put all the summer clothes into appropriate bins" task, so there are piles of clothes all over, too.  Plus, a month ago, our compression tank sprang a leak, and before we had it replaced, I had to empty a couple of shelves of canned goods that were flooded, so there are canning jars all over the floor, mixed with all manner of detritus from weeks of neglect.

Well, ten minutes ago, one of the nicest men in the world dropped in to check our boiler's nozzle size so he and a friend of ours can replace it tomorrow.  I don't even want to go down to the basement to see how much shin-deep laundry-on-the-floor he had to trudge through to get to the boiler, but I must.

I'll bolster my spirits with a second cup of coffee first.


A Crown of Candles

For several years, we've wanted to celebrate St. Lucia Day.  Though little is known of the martyr herself, we have a little Luci-Light and just enough Scandinavian blood* (Jan's son!) to squeak by in observing her day with the tradition that has captivated Mildred since she first read about it.

After we were given some free saffron threads last winter, I wrote "Prepare for St. Lucia Day" in my planner nearly a year ahead of time.  Then, predictably, the past week was so busy I didn't even look in my planner.  Millie remembered right at bedtime, though, so I drove down to Mom's to steal some raisins, and Millie and I stayed up late together, bumping elbows as she made the traditional lussekatter** and I fashioned a crown.

We didn't get much sleep, but it was so much fun.  Millie and I kept it a secret from everyone, and since it was our first year jumping in, no one was expecting to be awakened in the early morning hours with music, sweet coffee, and warm bread.  Aidan had stumbled downstairs when we came down to make the coffee, so he was the first one Millie served.

Zeke would have awoken more quickly had he known food was involved.

*It wouldn't matter if we were 100% South American, though; I would have found some other excuse to celebrate.
** Millie used neither quark nor sour cream in the buns, having neither, but successfully substituted thick yogurt.

Here to Remember

Everyone gathered in one room to listen to a radio drama the other night, and I overheard this exchange.

Millie: It's time to listen to The Candle in the Window, everyone!

Before everyone entered the room, Zeke, noticeably puzzled, wandered around looking at all the electric candles in our windows, repeating softly to himself: Me don't hear noises from the candle...at all. Me don't hear anything!


First Post


(November herbs from the garden...November!)

 (November peppers and eggplant...November!)

 (Smirking at Prince Bertram the Bad.)

(Racing John off to work in the first snow of the season, winter's gentle greeting in late-October .)


A REAL snow that lasted for days of play didn't come until weeks later...


Four months scramble into a crooked line behind me, a disorderly row fit for a disorderly girl, and the full season of Advent stretches out before, the first gleam of a new beginning.  Darkness waits for Light, and silence longs for Song.  The Word is flesh, yet the earth groans still, so we wait for Him to shatter all that binds us.

And there's a lot that binds us.

The seasonal work of summer and fall is complete until next year, and the work of winter is barely begun.  It's about time I procrastinated and unloaded a dumptruck of snapshots.

Hullo again and have at 'em.