Twin Falls Idaho
Visited my daughter’s family for the holidays. Hardly any snow, but the kids made tiny snowmen, one for each of us. And threw snowballs, of course. I made a snow head. The chickens manage to keep warm by huddling together. Their water is in an electrically heated bowl.
Went out to see the street with the most Xmas lights.
My son had flown in from Vancouver, and helped us make lots of Xmas cookies. (Those of you who know him will notice that he’s a bit furry this winter.) He also made a luscious dinner for Xmas Eve. Unfortunately Elfie had gotten into the refrigerator the previous night and had colored the gallon of milk green. Hence green mashed potatoes.
The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts an elf and gives it a name, the elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures. Each morning, the elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their elf each morning.
Because my daughter had gotten the Thanksgiving weekend off, she, a nurse, had to work Christmas day, a 12 hour shift. So we opened all family presents on the eve. The kids all got Kindles, which also have games, as the youngest, at four, can’t read yet. My granddaughter got another American Girl. They probably have more toys than all of the kids in Eritrea.
I understand that parents have been discussing giving the most expensive gifts themselves so that when the kids are comparing Santa’s presents with their friends there won’t be a terrible discrepancy.
After getting the kids to bed on Christmas Eve we adults got in the outdoor spa. Even though the water temperature was 104°, our faces were frozen with the wind and blowing snow – 31° (feels like 20°) wind 17 mph with gusts of 34 mph. Then the hatrack that held our beach towels blew into the spa, partially dunking the towels. We didn’t stay in too long.
Christmas day the kids got up at 6am so their mother could see “their delighted faces”, opening Santa’s presents, before she left for work.
Unfortunately, either the flu or a bad cold ran through the family, with listlessness and a hacking cough. I got it last, and it lasted a week. (Did have to forgo sledding down the four-foot hill behind the kids’ school.) Even though I had my flu shot, effectiveness against the flu H1N1 virus… was 62%1 because the virus mutated. Don’t think the dip in the hot tub helped. Happy New Year!
This by a friend of mine, Krista Neis:
A 2014 Tale: Pomegranates
I am now quite reassured that as old people, we will not be alone.
That’s because a pomegranate family has come to live with us.
My sister has a pomegranate bush at her home in the desert.
In spring, pomegranates ripen fat and dark red,
Drawing area birds like a beacon.
The birds come and peck a hole in the fruits, one by one, to get at the flesh inside.
They devour the tiny fruit-covered red seeds, discard or ingest the pith, and soon
The heat dries the shell remaining to a hard and mottled leather.
When a pomegranate tumbles from a bush, a small starburst crest remains
Where the branch let go of its fruit.
I found a lone pomegranate in a parking lot one summer day.
It had a hole pecked near its topknot and two sides had split
So it resembled a hen with wings.
Mother hen sat alone on our kitchen counter top for a week or so.
Then my husband and I had a moonlight-and-candles supper
At my sister’s house, where Muffie and Charles keep chickens and bees.
We looked at the starry night sky from their roofless courtyard,
With its bubbly fountain and sweet herbal smells,
And inspected the pomegranate bush nearby.
On the ground was a cluster of dried crested pomegranates,
Whose open mouths called out, openings the size of a quarter
Or more, the shells formed into little faces by the patio birds,
Who ate the insides and abandoned the small pomegranates.
Mother hen on our kitchen counter welcomed these orphans,
As soon as they came under her wing.
They clustered around her
And soon formed a choral group, seemingly content
With a fairly constant audience
Of one or two.
And sometimes, when we’re feeling especially joyful, John and I sing harmony.
The radio this morning made tech-y conversation
About “a family of apps.”
But this is not the family that will comfort us.
The family of apps is for the comfort of our children
When their time comes.