Sunday, December 31, 2006

Merry New Year's Eve!

Well. We are supposedly in a tizzy getting the house cleaned up today...I'm a little superstitious about New Year's Day, and the notion that how you spend Jan.1st sets the tone for the rest of the year. And I'd like to start off the New Year with a clean house, and lots of time to relax...rather than anticipate a year full of housework! However, we keep getting sidelined by such important distractions as coffee (with Bailey's) and naps (two, so far today!)

Oh well...we've got a few hours yet before we have to go anywhere! We're spending New Year's Eve with a small group of people, enjoying cheese and wine. These are folks that Mr.Q. knows well, and that I'm enjoying becoming better acquainted with. The kind of people that like potlucks, and passing around acoustic guitars for fun rather than for showing off. The kind of people that tell Mr.Q. to remind me to bring my knitting along to a party (or to a rock show at a seedy bar...!) What's not to like?

We walked down to The Neighbourhood for groceries last night, and walked home via Trinity Street, a section of our neighbourhood that has a Christmas lights competition every year, as a fundraiser for community service organizations. I forgot to bring my camera, so I'm going to try to get a pic or two tonight, since we saw the Best House Ever. It's still odd to see Christmas lights without snow...but it was awfully nice to be walking with only a fleece pullover, instead of a parka and huge boots!

The walk is a long-ish one with groceries, but manageable with some planning, a backpack and sturdy canvas grocery bags. Which I think we're going to do more often. I feel guilty every time we drive, unless we have to pick up huge, heavy things like laundry soap or cat litter. The recent adventures here with power outages and boil-water advisories have made me even more conscious of the precarious state of our environment.

I don't do "New Year's Resolutions" as such...still, a new year seems like a good time to start fresh. One thing I hope to do is continue to lighten our wee household's environmental impact. We're pretty good about recycling and taking short showers and all that stuff (though we could still improve!) but our unnecessary driving habits could stand some serious reduction. Walking to get groceries is one thing we can do - and has the added health benefit of the exercise!

I have a few other plans for 2007, mostly involving stuff I've been meaning to do but keep putting off. The knitting thing is delicious, and I will keep it up; it's relaxing, meditative, hugely satisfying for its tactile aspects, and keeps my brain working by learning new skills (and figuring out how to fix mistakes made while learning!). I start my sock knitting class next week, and can't wait for the summer to show off the results with my sandals.

I've also picked up a Spanish workbook...I have long regretted letting that go, and am going to start digging into it while Mr.Q's away at a band practice tomorrow afternoon. I was good at picking up languages in high school...I'm curious to see how it goes now, with some formal understanding of grammar. I'm betting it also helps my teaching, to have a student perspective of my own.

Blabbity-blab-blab. It's 2:00, and we want to go for an early dinner tonight - Indian food! - early enough that we'll have an appetite later for the Tasty Cheeses that will see us to the New Year. (And wine...I've also decided that I need to learn more about wine, and tonight seemed like a good time to start. I have two different kinds of Chardonnay to experiment with tonight....) So...I guess I should go get the dishes done. At least I don't have to do the bathroom, since that's the DH's job.

Happy New Year's Eve, and may all your celebrations be warm and safe!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wahoo and all that stuff

Hmm. Well. I've been wanting to do this for awhile; MySpace just doesn't float my boat, really. Now that Dad's set me up with the doo-hickey to download pics from our camera (bonding through technology - thanks, Pa!) there're no more excuses. Except answering the "why" of it...why would I want to do this?

I watch friends' blogs for news and laughs and pictures of growing kids. It's a good way to keep on top of their goings-on, when we might not call or write (or email) as often as we'd like. I read a handful of others, as well, for information, inspiration, and again, laughs....This internet thingy really has made a new global community, at a time when a sense of community is waning in our neighbourhoods. Am I jumping on a bandwagon? Maybe. But having actually maintained, and even made, friendships through this medium...I see it as a tool with great potential. And a bloomin' lot of fun!

We made it "Home" to the East Kootenay for Christmas this year. It's been a long year for my family, for many reasons. So it was very, very good to have a visit with most all of us there, and everyone in good health and good spirits. It was, of course, chaotic as all heck...but well worth it all. It's weird to be back on the Coast with no snow!

Post-Christmas, the long drive over, the madness subsiding....I think tradition can be an important part of building and maintaining community. Not always, of course; blindly following tradition for the sake of habit isn't always wise. But there's something to be said for continuity, shared history, reminders of family ties and values. In that spirit, here's a glimpse of a Very Important Christmas Tradition. I give you The Christmas Worm:

We also have the Wall of Stockings (formerly known as the Hockey Stick, but then there were too many of us for a mere hockey stick to suffice):

And last but not least, a new tradition in the making, The Hanging Of Dangly Earrings and Keys from the Pointy Sticks in Erin's Unfinished Hat, By Her Mother and Sisters:

(No, there was NO wine (or Bailey's) involved whatsoever...why do you ask?)

(OK, maybe there was a LEETLE BIT)