Monday, January 2, 2017
These last few days of the holiday break have been quiet and calm, with lots of time together at home. I don't mind being at home; I can always find things to do. The Bear can too. The small Bears are getting better at it, which I really appreciate. We've finally reached a stage where we can all stay busy doing our own thing for quite a while before reconvening to do something together. They don't need to be entertained as much anymore, which is wonderful and bittersweet at the same time. They put together a gingerbread house (from a kit) with almost no help from us. I think they did a great job with it, probably better than when I help them; I have really bad icing-aim. We stayed home for New Year's Eve, as usual, celebrating with movies and a "party buffet," as I called it. I tried to make it a little fancy - shrimp cocktail, sherbet in ginger ale. We enjoyed sparklers and a few minor fireworks in the backyard. I can barely remember New Year's Eve before children; the Bear and I were in bed by about 10:30 ourselves, as usual. We've been sleeping like logs every night; I think we were really run down before the break.
We took Christmas away yesterday, which has been a big relief. I like the holidays very much but the stuff gets to me after a while, not to mention the food. It's all gone now, eaten up or packed away. I have healthy minestrone soup in the crockpot for tonight's dinner. The house is cleaner than it has been since November and I feel accomplished, settled: another Christmas in the bag. We're at the tail-end now; the Bear will go back to work tomorrow, the small Bears will be back to school on Thursday. I'm looking forward to my own routine.
The break has been a very musical one, which I've really loved. The LB received a new guitar for Christmas, a full-size one that should take him into adulthood. He was playing the Bear's guitar for the past few months and now he has one just like it. I'm working on ways to distinguish them without doing anything drastic. The GB received a book of sheet music for the songs on Taylor Swift's "1989" album, which is pretty much her favorite music ever. She works on her songs every day when she's finished with her regular practice music. I'm impressed, I have to say. Right now, I can recognize at least three songs when she plays them - "Blank Space," "Bad Blood," and "Welcome to New York." The LB plays some of them now and then too. 2016 was the Year of Taylor at our house and 2017 is shaping up for more.
Yesterday, there was a hawk in the backyard. It was probably a Cooper's hawk, as I've written about before. They come and go, but I hadn't seen one in the yard in several weeks. This one flew into the yard like the proverbial bat out of hell, wings flapping like mad. There were at least fifty small birds in the pyracantha hedge along the back wall and they all flew away instantly. Then the hawk sat on top of the swing set surveying the yard. I didn't think to grab my camera until he was poised to fly away, so I got him zipping across the yard. He went away but it was a good half-hour before the little birds came back, and then only one at a time. It's a jungle out there. The mountain looks beautiful right now, with snow almost down to the foothills. We had some sleet and a few flakes over the weekend, but mostly we had rain down here. The snow line has stayed high for the most part so far, around 6500 feet. We're at 5500. There's snow in the forecast for Thursday night and I'm really hoping we get some. The rain has been nice, though. For a La Nina year, we're doing really well in the Southwest, rain-wise.
Thank you for the comments you left on my blog anniversary post. I really appreciate knowing that people enjoy my blog. I love blogging and I plan to continue indefinitely. I hope you're enjoying the start to 2017 and that you had a good holiday season. I'll be back soon to share my crocheted butterfly mobile decoration!