This year, I decided to try an amaryllis kit instead of my usual paperwhite narcissus. I've had an amaryllis bulb before (also a kit that included bulb, pot and growing medium), when I was in school. I'm excited about my new amaryllis. The flower is called Minerva and will be red and white. What I remember best about my previous amaryllis is cleaning it up off the floor. My roommate had come home after a fight with her boyfriend and threw something across the room. It knocked my amaryllis off the windowsill. She was sorry, and yes, she helped me clean it up. They broke up soon afterward. And that's my amaryllis story.
My favorite mug - itself a relic from my college years - died spectacularly yesterday. I'd used it since 1997, moving it with me everywhere. It has featured on this blog. It's my main hot-beverage drinking vessel. Or it was until yesterday, when it plummeted to the tile floor in my kitchen and shattered in about a hundred pieces. That will teach me to unload the dishwasher with two hands. I took this picture of my tea on Sunday morning, obviously unaware that there were only a few cups left to drink from this mug. I've been sulking about it since yesterday afternoon. Everyone was worried about me. Even the GB said, "This is very upsetting," as she watched me warily. I'll be fine, but I am kicking myself.
I made split-pea soup in the slowcooker this week. (You can find my recipe if you click on "Recipes" in my sidebar). It has been unusually warm for the past few days (I'm actually really unhappy about it; I was rather enjoying being cold, but they say that's returning after Friday), so we didn't need hot soup, really, but I did need to clear the last of the Easter ham out of the freezer before I bring the Christmas one in. I know what you're thinking, but I don't want ham in the summer. The soup was delicious. There will be more in January, of course.
I thought I was over Christmas music last week, but I'm way over the edge now. Literally, as I write, I'm listening to "The Christmas Shoes" on the radio. Yikes.
There was a particularly beautiful sunset at the beginning of the week. I'd been cooking dinner (possibly the aforementioned pea soup; I don't even know what day I'm on anymore), and suddenly, the backyard was salmon. Like, glowing neon, but only for a moment. You could actually see the color bleed away. It was awesome.
I helped in the GB's class yesterday (absolutely bonkers) and needed a nap when I got home. I actually fell asleep. I didn't even plan it. I left the small Bears doing independent work (reading, I think) and lay on my bed. I had a headache and needed to put my head down for a few minutes. Next thing I knew, I was waking up to (what else?) Christmas music on the radio in the living room, played at full blast. Soon after, I dropped my mug. It was not the best afternoon ever.
Do you remember Daddy's Cafe? Longtime readers will recall our make-believe coffeehouse built of Lincoln Logs and located in a fictional hinterland. We've added a lot of things, mostly handmade, but we also have some reindeer now! We bought them at a hobby store; they're meant for use with dollhouses and dioramas. They're feeding on some bales of hay in the front yard of Daddy's Cafe, which is looking sort of like a shady roadhouse lately, what with the chili-pepper ristra and guitar lying abandoned in the yard. It's the holidays, everyone's letting things slide a little.
I keep meaning to share a link to these beautiful books, the Puffin in Bloom series, which I saw this past summer at Tattered Cover, an amazing bookstore in Denver. It's a reissue of four classic novels with new cover art by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. Have you seen them? They're gorgeous, done in her distinctive floral style. The printings themselves are reissues of old Puffin editions, with the original illustrations. I've just sent a copy of Heidi to one of my nieces for Christmas, with plans to send her the rest for other occasions.
I hope you're having a calm, peaceful pre-holiday season. We're hanging in there. Most of the things we're finding frazzling right now aren't really avoidable, those normal activities and events of the season. We'll be baking and wrapping this weekend, and next week will be our busiest of all, but then we'll have two blessed, blissful weeks off.