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December 11, 2002: Even the ice cream is festive

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I woke up early this morning feeling comfortably domestic. So by the time Richard stumbled out of bed a little while later, I had not only managed to unearth the breakfast nook table from beneath the pile that's been accumulating since we got home Friday night, I also had laundry in the washing machine, a pumpkin spice cake in the oven, and cider mulling on the stove. The part about this job where we have to be on the road a lot may sometimes get frustrating, but I can always remind myself that at least I get weeks like this in the middle of the rest, where we have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it.

This afternoon we headed off to finish off the remaining Christmas shopping. We stopped by Target first, but all the clothes they had for little kids fell into the white trash category, so instead we consoled ourselves by finding a set of stocking hangers and a plastic tub with dividers for ornament storage once the tree comes down. The stocking hangers are metal, and shaped like either a tree or a star (Richard got the tree and I got the star, in other words). They're painted to look aged. And they're...well...okay. They are not what I want to see on my mantel year after year after year. But until we track down the elusive dragon/gargoyle stocking hanger, these will just have to do for now.

Next stop, Mervyns, where we discharged our godparently duties admirably by picking out cute little outfits for both our godkids, including the neatest pastel rainbow hooded sweater for the little girl that perfectly matched the little blue socks we also found. Girls are so much fun to shop for (if you can find a store that stocks things besides Barbie pink, and skanky ho black stretch). Boys, on the other hand, don't have quite so many adorable options, especially when they get old enough to dress themselves (and so therefore can no longer be subjected to outfits they wouldn't normally be caught dead in). We did, however, find our little godson something adorable that fit my main criteria - it has no sports logos on it at all. This, I should point out, is not such an easy task as one might hope.

We were thwarted in our efforts to find tiny little Santa hats for Rhyme and Reason (the pair of stone dragons that flank our porch), the stone goose, or for Apex (the dragon on the roof). But there is still time yet before Christmas. Santa hats may still be procured. Oh yes. I have faith. After all, we *did* manage to find peppermint Skinny Cows without having to do much searching at all, so I'm feeling perkily optimistic about the Santa hats.

The presents are all wrapped and under the tree now, and except for the stack that's going to be trickling in from Amazon.com over the next week or so, we're done. So after all that excitement, the cats and I went upstairs to take a nap (or rather, I took a nap and they all took turns seeing how long it would take to shove my head off the pillow) while Richard started in on the outdoor lights. He did the ones around the garage today and unless the weather decides not to cooperate, he'll finish them up tomorrow while I do my best to see how much of the kitchen I can coat with flour while producing enough Christmas cookies to feed several starving nations.

Oh! We may finally have a break in the bird boycott of our bird feeder. A week or three ago, the bird feeder (shunned by birds for months now!) fell over in one of the nastier wind storms of the season. Once we got it back up again, there were seeds all over the ground, of course. This morning I happened to glance outside and saw a blue jay hopping around on the ground eating the spilled seeds. Granted, it didn't actually touch the evil bird feeder of doom, but it was a *bird*, and it was willing to be seen within the vicinity of our bird feeder.

Knowing my luck with birds, this was probably just an extra fool-hardy sort of blue jay, but right now I'm going to keep up that perky optimism and take this as a sign that maybe someday an actual bird will land *on* the feeder and partake of all its seedy delights.

Once again I am taking part in Holidailies, and have thus made the commitment to try to post every day this month. You can find guaranteed reading material from all of us participating at the Holidailies portal.

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