Thursday, December 28, 2006

The DH and I had a very nice Christmas. On Friday, we went on the Argosy Christmas Ships. Santa and a choir were there with us and we had a really nice time listening to the concerts, seeing the other decorated ships, and enjoying a night out together.

We spent the holiday at home with no other obligations except for cooking dinner on Christmas Eve for a few friends who joined us for the evening. It was yummy dinner. I even made cream pudding and Evelyn’s rolls. Mmm… It makes me hungry again just thinking about it.

On Christmas day, we got up around 8:00 and opened a few presents. Patrick had already had my windows tinted for one of my presents, but he also got me an iPod Nano, some gift cards, and shirts. It was pretty great. I gave him an authentic Raiders football jersey, hockey tickets, and some long john’s (to replace the crotchless ones he’s wearing at work right now – I guess that’s what wears out first with all the gas passing he does).

We didn’t do much more on Christmas day other than that and delivering a few straggler gifts. We also got in some naps and nibbled on more turkey. I think I could get used to staying home for Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ringing, Singing On Its Way

The DH has found out something very odd about me. I know the words to a lot of Christmas songs. You may find this unremarkable. In the grand scheme of things, it really is. However, the DH finds it hysterical, mostly because I can’t remember the words to any other songs at all. I sing along all the time and just make up new words or fake words or whatever. It’s kind of entertaining if you don’t find it completely frustrating and annoying.
When you put that next to the fact that I can sing along to almost any Christmas song written, it’s pretty funny. The DH, on the other hand, can recite the words and tell you everything else about many, many songs. He doesn’t know any Christmas songs other than Jingle Bells.
Aren’t we a pair?

Christmas Meme

An Ordinary Mom put together a meme on her site, so I thought I’d join in.

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? I just love eggnog. The best thing though, is an eggnog milkshake.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? They’re sitting next to the stocking that has been taken down and filled, and they’re unwrapped.

3. Colored lights or white on tree/house? I like white lights on the tree, but colored lights outside on the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I like mistletoe, but didn’t find mine this year while unpacking the decorations.

5. When do you put your decorations up? I like to put them up right after Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t usually all happen that quickly.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I associate fondue with the holidays and I love it, especially with really good gruyere cheese.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: this is tough as there are so many. I think I really love those childhood memories of checking out each other’s gifts. I remember one year when my older bother got a Flintstone’s sculpture kit. It was this set of weird plastic figures that you chipped off until you uncovered the Flintstone’s character inside. I also always loved shopping for gifts for someone we chose off the Salvation Army giving tree. Good times!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth? That he’s real? I always knew that.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We only ever opened the Christmas tree ornament that Granny sent. My mother is very anti-opening-on-Christmas-eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? White lights, lots of ornaments collected over the years, and a fun gold star on top.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I have to admit that I dread it. I love it in the mountains, but don’t enjoy it where I live.

12. Can you ice skate? I think the real answer is “no” even though I’ve been on ice skates numerous times.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I actually don’t remember a favorite. I got a Madame Alexander collectible doll from Santa most years and always looked forward to which doll he would bring. One year my dad bought be a string of fresh-water pearls that I really wanted and I loved it. Maybe the best was the beautiful ruby necklace the DH got me last year.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? I love the focus on the Savior and being in a spirit of giving. I also enjoy how it brings people together – whether by hearing from old friends in Christmas letters once a year or getting together with family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Hands down, cream pudding.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas dinner by candle light was always my favorite.

17. What tops your tree? A star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I love spending so much time focused on giving, but I’ll admit to enjoying the receiving as well.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love Christmas music, but I think my two favorites are Mary Did You Know and O, Holy Night.

20. Candy Canes – Yuck or Yum? I’m not a big fan of hard candy, but I love the flavor of candy canes.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Mighty Wind

We just keep making the national news with our weather. I find it somewhat humorous -- only because I'm not one of the folks on the phone with my insurance agent. It's been a wild night, but my home is fine and I actually have power (hence the ability to blog). My thoughts are with the thousands without power and those who are cleaning up the many trees and other messes.

Trimming the Home for Christmas

I really enjoy decorating for Christmas. The picture here is the figure of Mary and Jesus from our nativity. I just love the simplicity of the figure. The nativity is a critical part of the holiday decor since it's one of the wonderful things that reminds us of the reason we are celebrating. It's a great time to remember the great gifts He gave us and to reflect on our relationship with Him. It's also a wonderful time to reflect on the other relationships in our lives and to present gifts that represent, in some small way, our feelings for those we love. All good things!

Of course, I also love the rest of the decorations. The tree is always good fun. I have some great decorations from Europe, from our honeymoon, and from my childhood. They all bring back sweet memories. I'm a sucker for tradition. I just can't get enough of it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shout Out to Annzy!

Everyone give a shout out to Annzy. She got an HR job yesterday. It's at this really sexy company too! She really rocks and she'll be able to do cool HR-y stuff there. It will even require skills she learned in her graduate school program. (I know! shocking!!!) She'll als be close to the porn wagon, where she used to work and Orson Gygi, one of the coolest kitchen stores ever.

I ask, who wouldn't want that job?!?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I'm not sure why the picture wouldn't post on this, but it's in the post above now.

Mormons aren't really devotees of all the dates on the Catholic calendar, but at this time of year I enjoy thinking of all the events leading up to the birth fo the Savior. The annuciation (when the angel visited Mary and told her not to be afraid of this overwhelming event that was taking place in her at the moment) is celebrated on March 25th.

Luke Chapter 1
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

I love this picture. It captures exactly the feeling I imagine Mary might have had. It was painted by Henry Ossawa Tanner, and african-american artist, in 1898. It is exquisite.

About the Artist:
Ossawa Tanner was raised in an affluent, well educated African-American family. Although reluctant at first, Tanner's parents eventually responded to their son's unflagging desire to pursue an artistic career and encouraged his ambitions. In 1879, Tanner enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he joined
Thomas Eakins's coterie. Tanner moved to Atlanta in 1889 in an unsuccessful attempt to support himself as an artist and instructor among prosperous middle class African-Americans. Bishop and Mrs. Joseph C. Hartzell arranged for Tanner's first solo exhibition, the proceeds from which enabled the struggling artist to move to Paris in 1891. Illness brought him back to the United States in 1893, and it was at this point in his career that Tanner turned his attention to genre subjects of his own race.

In 1893 most American artists painted African-American subjects either as grotesque caricatures or sentimental figures of rural poverty. Henry Ossawa Tanner, who sought to represent black subjects with dignity, wrote: "Many of the artists who have represented Negro life have seen only the comic, the ludicrous side of it, and have lacked sympathy with and appreciation for the warm big heart that dwells within such a rough exterior." The banjo had become a symbol of derision, and caricatures of insipid, smiling African-Americans strumming the instrument were a cliche. In
The Banjo Lesson, Tanner tackles this stereotype head on, portraying a man teaching his young protege to play the instrument - the large body of the older man lovingly envelops the boy as he patiently instructs him. If popular nineteenth-century imagery of the African-American male had divested him of authority and leadership, then Tanner in The Banjo Lesson recreated him in the role of father, mentor, and sage. The Banjo Lesson is about sharing knowledge and passing on wisdom.

The exposition-sized canvas was accepted into the Paris Salon of 1894. That year it was given by Robert Ogden of Philadelphia to Hampton Institute near Norfolk, Virginia, one of the first and most prestigious black colleges founded shortly after Emancipation. Hampton lent it the next year to Atlanta's Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, where it hung in the Negro Building. Contemporary critics largely ignored the work. Tanner painted another African American genre subject in 1894, The Thankful Poor, but then abandoned subjects of his own race in favor of biblical themes. When Tanner returned to Paris in 1895, he established a reputation as a salon artist and religious painter but never again painted genre subjects of African-Americans.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cops love me

So, I hate my commute, especially on the way home. I don't think that's much of a revelation to anyone. It's ugly out there. Yesterday was no exception. I left work at 4:15, but it was already packed and I found out later there had been an accident (that I never saw, but it was reportedly there). I was in a hurry to get to the traffic jam, so I went as fast as I could, weaving through traffic.

Then there were lights -- cop car lights. You know the feeling. There was the wee bit of hope that it was for someone else. There was the lump in the stomache. There was the resignation that I would get the ticket I have been deserving for years.

The police officer was quite nice and asked for my license, registration, and proof of insurance. I was having a hard time getting my proof of insurance card out of my wallet because it was stuck in the silly, flimsy plastic cover of my temple recommend. Plus, I was nervous, because I was about to get a ticket.

I finally gave the card to the police officer and he asked me how fast I had been going. I had no idea. I felt like an idiot. Then he asked me if that was my recommend. I was a little confused (assuming that no one in WA is LDS). He asked again if that was my recommend. I said it was and then he told me I was the third member he'd pulled over in the last two hours. He gave me back my information and sent me on my way.

I didn't get the ticket! Cops love me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Today is the first Sunday of the Advent. It’s a lovely European tradition I learned on my mission. Each of the four Sundays before Christmas, families would light a candle and do something to commemorate the coming of Christmas. Today, the DH and I lit a beautiful gold candle and watched the Christmas program with the first presidency and Mormon Tabernacle Choir from Salt Lake City. It was a really nice program, only and hour long, and was a nice beginning to the Christmas season. We also put up the tree and put the star on top (but didn’t get any farther than that) and worked on Christmas cards.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Days

By now, everyone knows that Seattle got blanketed with snow and that things here came to quite a standstill. On Tuesday, the WSDOT cautioned that everyone should stay home unless they were involved in “essential services” like doctoring and police officering. I’m curious what my friends and neighbors did on their snow days. Here’s what I did:

  • Worked some from home, but with a spotty internet/RAS connection.
  • Watched a bunch of TV, including the Tyra Banks talk show. Her show is really lame, but I was working on my computer at the same time and didn’t really think to change the channel.
  • Picked up a painting from the frame shop.
  • Almost got stuck in Patrick’s old truck trying to get into the frame shop parking lot (that had a bit of an incline).
  • Bought supplies for making Christmas cards.
  • Bought supplies for making Christmas gifts.
  • Took almost half an hour to get home even though it would usually take only about five minutes because 130th street West-bound was closed.
  • Forgot to plan or make anything for dinner in spite of the fact that I didn’t really accomplish anything all day.
  • Planned Christmas presents for everyone I want to give to.
  • Bought Christmas gifts online.
  • Worked more than I did on Tuesday.
  • Swept and mopped the kitchen floor (while participating in a conference call for work). I'm a great multi-tasker.
  • Bought groceries.
  • Made turkey soup for later and a really good dinner to make up for slacking on Tuesday.
  • Ironed table cloths at the church in preparation for a Christmas program this weekend.
What did you do?