Saturday, December 17, 2011

The New Year Cometh

It's December and it's sunny. What happened to the rain?! It's not that I'm complaining, alright, I'm complaining. A big part of us moved to the PNW (Pacific Northwest) for the rain, and yet this winter has been approaching on tip-toe. Where are the terrifying thunder storms that would wake-up me and Tony from a sound sleep - hearts pounding with dread and excitement? I want to open my blinds in the early morning and watch heavy laden clouds slowly roll by, pour, then creep off into the distant hills.

Rain is romantic, rain is fun. Rain makes it necessary to wear my Burberry raincoat. I have yet to kiss my sweet husband in the rain, yet to run to and from the post office screaming, wet and happy. Did I mention I have yet to wear my Burberry raincoat? *Sigh*

On the up-side, we are having family over this year for Christmas. Last year it was just me, T, Sailor and Micky, which was wonderful, but coming from a big family and having Christmas or Christmas Eve with said family EVERY SINGLE YEAR for the past 40 years, it was quite a change. Plus, Tony had to work a double, so I was mostly alone with the dogs and my Elvis Christmas album - which was on repeat. By the time Tony did come home, I was having a very blue, Blue Christmas. Music affects me deeply, so what did Tony do? He put on The Pogues' Fairytale of New York, quite possibly the best Christmas song in the world, and just like that we were smiling together, gazing at our little tree and thanking God for our blessings.

My nephew...and HIS cookie.
This year we have the honor of welcoming my big sister, her husband and my nephew over for Christmas. It's their very first visit since we've moved to the PNW 1.5 years ago, so that's exciting. My favorite cousin is also coming up with her fiance, which is a wonderful surprise, since she was here visiting less than a month ago. The biggest joy for me, I think, is having my nephew here for Christmas. I'm afraid he's going to be terribly spoiled by me and T and from what I hear he has a bit of Only Child Syndrome. Plus, he's not too keen on dogs, and we have two. It should be interesting to see how that turns out - I think it'll be fun!

My buddy Linda and her husband will also be joining us. She and I have been working together on her farm, which has been such a blessing to me. I've learned so much about gardening and I love Linda. Together we've planted garlic, potatoes, dug up onions, harvested salads, beets, carrots and we broke down the upper part of a greenhouse that fell during our only rainstorm of the season. We did all this while jabbering incessantly, it has been so much fun. Working on her farm hasn't only been a joy - it has helped me heal emotionally....

Sailor, Christmas 2010
This is our first Christmas without Sailor. The first in nine years. Gosh I miss him. He made everything okay, just his presence was a comfort, and those eyes, those little monkey eyes. He'd look at you and I swear he SPOKE. He will always be my special boy...always be with me in spirit. I think he and Olive would have hit if off beautifully. They both love to play and run - they're both sun worshipers.

I am SO grateful to Mick for sticking around after his brother passed away - and he looks great! He has lost the required poundage Dr. Tribble asked him to lose and he regularly initiates play with his new sister now, it's great to watch.

In the human world, we're staying busy. The farmer's market is over for the winter. I miss it already, especially my customers, and all the glorious baking I did, and the left-overs. Then again, it's nice to do other things, like volunteer for St. Timothy's Soup Kitchen! What an amazing place - the people are incredible, the food is delectable and the experience is very humbling. Next Tuesday, I will be baking a peach and pear crisp to go with the full turkey dinner the director has planned. Let me clarify, I will be making a cobbler for 100 people. It's a bit daunting, I've never made anything so large, but I'm psyched to do it.

Transit of Venus, 2004
Unlike 2011, where I had nothing planned, other than living by the seat of my pants, I plan on working the St. T's Soup Kitchen every Tuesday in 2012. I'll be glad when it's 2012. 2011 has been such a drastic conglomerate of good and bad, amazing and sad. But that's life, right? I'll just say, 2011 has been a year of...adapting.

I'm going to be very typical and say I think 2012 is going to be awesome. Let's see, 2012 (MMXII) will be a leap year, so Happy Birthday to those of you who haven't had a birthday for the past four years. Then on January 31, (six days after my mom's birthday) we'll have the second-largest Near Earth Object on record pass Earth at 0.1790 astronomical units (16,640,000 mi). On May 20th, we'll have an Annular solar eclipse, then on June 6th, (my did will love this) we will have the second and last solar transit of Venus of the century. So if you missed it in 2004, you'll get a chance to see the plant Venus pass directly between the sun and the earth, which is to say Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. It should last ~6 hours and won't happen again for another 243 years.

Exciting's to the unknown 2012 will bring!

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