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It is very cold here in Phoenix, much colder than usual. There is another frost warning for this evening. Around the neighorhood people have draped sheets and tarps over the palm trees and tropical plants. It gives the area a sense of emptiness, like a house closed up and the heat turned off for the owners have left.

Someone has a cold too. He is asleep on the couch in the living room. It is 730PM. Even the house has a cold for we are being cheap and not turning on the furnance. We hope the cold spell ends with the new year.

I spent the afternoon reading my 2010 journal. It was a pleasant year. No great events really. As is the wont, we had a few plesant trips. I made a few more shirts. I kept 6 of 12 new years resolutions. After the review I did my traditional trek to Barnes and Noble and purchased a new journal. I am ready for 2o11.  I’ve read my blogs and wished all a happy new year.  The year ends quietly, without flourish or fanfare (or furnace).

In two hours I will watch the ball drop in Times Square, which is 10PM local time. I will wish everybody far and wide a Happy 2011. I will probably go right to sleep afterwards. I’ll crawl into bed with the newly placed flannel sheets (in Arizona?!). I hope Harper will join me, so I won’t be alone. It will be nice  snuggling up with something warm this cold and quiet evening. I will fall asleep thinking deep thoughts, reflecting on how the year was and what is to come.

Farewell 2010; you were good for me. I will sleep in peace. Tomorrow is a new year.

2010 is going out in a nasty way; we are having inclement weather. Brother #3 was supposed to visit this week ‘to get away from the Seattle weather’.  He didn’t come, but apparently he sent the clouds.  It’s been cloudy for a couple of days. We awoke last night at 230AM to a severe rainstorm. Today we actually had a sprinkling of snow! Tonight the temperatures may go below freezing. Between the chill and the winds it feels more like the Midwest than the Southwest.

We have no plans for NYE. I’m tired from work so I suspect we’ll fall asleep long before midnight. Watching the Times Square ball drop (10PM local time) will make it 2011 for me. I’ll probably nod off right afterwards.

Oooh what decadent life I lead.

I discovered an improvement to the rather difficult task of sewing collars into a shirt. Like Ford or Toyota, I want to recall all Spo-shirts given as gifts to repair them. Ah well, live and learn. I am making another one for Key West 2011; it should be the best one so far.

I received a phone call this evening from a man who announced he was “X of New York”  I could not hear him well, and I asked again who this was. “X (he emphasized) from New York”. Rather than bluffing I apologized this was not ringing a bell. Rather than clarifying who he was and how we know each other he told me to forget it and hung up. I am wracking my brains who this was; I feel awful I hurt his feelings. I don’t think it was a blogger buddy, for he would have said “X of (Name of his blog)”.  The only man I recall named “X” resides in CT, not NY.  I can’t figure this out. Mr. X, if you are reading this, I am very sorry and please call me back.

Tomorrow I have the day off. I reread my 2010  journal and play “I’m still here.” from “Follies”.

I hope all is well with everyone.  I will drop in on blogs and Facebook to wish everybody a prosperous New Year.


I made this one myself;  please borrow it; I would enjoy seeing your responses !

2010 Accomplishment

I lost 12lb -hopefully it was all adipose !

2010 Discovery

Hendrick’s Gin – my goodness gracious there is a difference !

Favorite 2010 Vacation/Holiday

We went to Charlevoix, MI, for the parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. The week long family outing was wonderful.

Best dining in 2010

Picture it  < Key West – Martin’s – Jaegerschnitzel with noodles and Riesling. I hope to do it again in February !

2010 Regret

I was not able to accept a ‘dream job’ because I couldn’t get medical insurance for both of us.

Magic Moment in 2010

Adopting a rescue dog from the Human Society. What a joy this turned out to be.

What states did you visit in 2010?

California, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin,Michigan, and Florida.

The 2010 Surprise

I got a Christmas bonus at work – and in this day and age !

Three 2011 Goals

Getting through 2011 ‘in the black’ (2010 was in the ‘red’).

Meeting  5 blogger buddies.

Making a new soup every month.

Every New Year’s Eve I reread “The Little Match-girl” by Hans Christian Anderson.  If you haven’t read this remarkable folk tale I encourage you to do so. The Little Match girl

Or you can see a lovely film version here.

I must was very young when I first read it. The ending made me cry so hard I literally bawled.  It remains one of the saddest and moving stories I have ever read. As a boy I was flabbergasted by its injustice.  I believed good should be rewarded and bad should be punished. Why was a child forced to work?  Why would her parents treat her so? Why did no one take pity and help her?  It was incomprehensible to me – how could this happen?

I visited it every new year’s eve hoping I had somehow misread it. Alas, the story never varied; the outcome was always the same.

As I grew older I began to understand and appreciate the ending. She receives happiness – not in this world but elsewhere. I was just beginning to experience the hurts and injustices of Life and I saw little if any hope in it. Mr. Anderson’s story doesn’t make Life better, but it adds a coda of comfort.

So why do I reread “The Little Match Girl” every New Year’s Eve?  I do so partially out of the nostalgia. I am visiting an old friend whom I see only once a year. Unlike me, she is unaltered and never grows old. Mostly I return to revisit Hope; there is more to Life than misery and indifference.

I still shed a tears when I read it, but they are tears of joy rather than sorrow. Another old year dies along with the Match girl. But in the joyful New Year there is something new and with Love.

On Christmas Day I took a bath.      

The master bathroom has a rather large tub. Filling it requires a great deal of water for it is as deep as the Moscow River.  Water isn’t abundant here in Arizona, so when I want to ‘take a soak’ I use the hot tub for it is water conservation-friendly and instantly available. Last year I realized I haven’t been in the tub since the bathroom was renovated – nearly two years ago! This holiday season I vowed to take a bath.

I got out a large sponge, a bristle brush, and a washcloth. I found some bath gel called “Oak for Men”. I lit some Christmas candles and turned on the taps. Soon I was naked and immersed in the warm sudsy water, letting out little grunts of pleasure. The Eagle has landed.

Harper Hound kept coming in to check on me, apparently puzzled that I, not she, was in the tub. Someone bathes her in this same tub. Harper doesn’t like baths. When she hears the water running she runs and hides. My presence in the tub was bewildering to her.

A young man sings in the bath tub. They sing ‘yah yah yah this is one of the world’s most beautiful bodies”.  An old man like me thinks in the tub, deep thoughts like “I ought to put down some rubber treads”.  The oily bath gel made me very slippery, and I felt like a catfish in Vaseline. Sudden moves causes me to slip back down, sending a wave of water up the opposite side of the tub. There were no spills.

Alas, I forgot to bring along something to read. I thought Someone would assist – or even join me, but he was light years away on the other side of the house, immersed in “Glee”.  I had to ‘just sit’, which for me is no easy task. I had a good wash. Soon I was smelling all over like a wooden chest.

So that was my Christmas treat to myself: a lovely bath. I made a point not to wait another year before having another one.

We’ve had no internet access for the past 24 hours or so.  Someone somehow disconnected us while setting up the new DVD. It was initally nerve wracking to be without the internet, then it felt rather quiet and pleasant.  I should ‘disconnect’ like this from time to time. If only I could do that with the pager !

Today was Boxing Day, which is apt for we started to box up the Christmas things and tidy up the messes of the holiday. It is nice to start a new year with an orderly house anyway.

I normally do ‘homework’ throughout a weekend, but I was determined not to do any on Christmas Eve/Day. It was all turfed off until now. We had a Spo-cousin over for breakfast. The rest of the day was spent doing my homework. While rummaging around looking for a lost tie clip, I found the collars of our two cats, deceased now for some years. I wept silent tears. I miss them.

This week sees my annual trek to a bookstore and buy my new journal for the upcoming year. Each year’s book is different. They vary in colour and style, ranging from plain leather to covers fabulous, whimsical, or ironical.  It is fun to find out which one ‘calls out to me’.

In this same interim I will reread this year’s journal and remember what the heck I did.

Tomorrow I start back up with exercise and my diet, get back to work, and look forward to a new year. Key West is a seven weeks away !


Here are a few photos from today’s Christmas.


Here is our Christmas tree.  Someone likes to decorate with stuff animals.

I like to decorate with reindeer.

This candelabra is lit twice a year: on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

This is the Christmas Dinner table spread.

Anyway, Christmas has come to its end.  It was a lovely, quiet Christmas.

I’ll get back to some writing tomorrow.

Merry Christmas !

Stinko !   The video cut off the punch line  “THAT’S IT !”

It’s been a tough week from mental demands. Work has been piling up with more multi-tasking projects. It requires more ‘stick with it and finish it’.  At any given time I am juggling several things. All of this is taxing my ADHD.

Mind! ADHD ‘wiring’ has some advantages. Having the brains of a hummingbird can be jolly good fun. However it neither advantagious nor fun when you want to focus on one thing, finish it, and not get distracted in the process. When this happens, it becomes a “disorder”.

This week is one of those times. My mind is continually blowing fuses to avoid sensory overload. A few times I’ve had to shut my office door, close my eyes, and call back my mind from far away places.  My forgetting what was done – or what was said only 5 minutes ago –  drives Someone to distraction.  When he starts talking I turn down and off everything I can.  I try my darnest to look him right in the eye and echo him to show I heard what was said.

On weeks like these I am tempted to get my own Rx for Ritalin or Adderall or oh so trendy Vyvanse. I probably know more about these meds than anyone, but I am not so foolish as to write out my own prescription.

So – I am taking a lot of breaks and trying to focus on one thing at a time. I try to finish something before starting another.

Now, I should get back to my paperwork, which lies unfinished due to my sudden impulse to write this entry.

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