Net Neutrality, Or Cookie Sampling? Cookies Win.

As I was making cookies yesterday, Dan and I were sampling them as they cooled. Of course. I mean, of course! You have to know if they came out right, right? It was Dan’s first sampling of the Christmas cookies. He approved……

As we sampled them we noticed that we each had our own technique for eating them. As I bit a bite-sized butter, sugar, flour cookie with a maraschino cherry inside, dusted with powdered sugar, turning the single bite into at least 2 bites Dan popped the whole cookie in his mouth. I told him I turned it into smaller bites to make it last longer. He said he liked it in one bite so he made sure he got the whole thing, no crumbs on the table or bits on the floor.

I guess there is a personal science to eating Christmas cookies.

While we were baking, my son texted me, suggesting that I listen to the FCC vote on net neutrality. (He works in the tech industry, where it’s such a big deal.) Now, I have been against the repeal, but was not well informed about it. I mostly just felt it was another attack on one of the good things that Obama did. Another dismantling of something that seemed to me to be working.

However, I am not so involved in it that I wanted to listen to 2 hours of debate at the FCC. I told my son, “I hope it doesn’t pass but we’re listening to Christmas carols while we bake.” Which we were. It was kind of festive, despite the fact that the eggnog supply was deleted.

I did, then, google about the net-neutrality thing, in between cookies, and didn’t come up with a clear answer as to whether or not it would be a devastating thing to repeal the law or not. I still lean toward it not being a good thing, but maybe not as disastrous as I (and my son) feared. At any rate, the repeal passed and now we see what happens. Maybe there will be some effort in Congress or otherwise to stop their ruling from becoming law.

Cookies got made. I’m making more this morning, though God knows why. I guess I’m on a roll. I took a plate of them to open mic night last night. One of my friends who plays regularly at open mic and is a gifted guitaris had posted on FB that he had a calamity occurring. It was dawn and he was down to one cookie. I walked up to him and said, “I heard there was a cookie emergency.” He had to do a double take to figure out who I was, with the reindeer antlers on my head, and a blinking red Rudolf nose on my face, and blinking Christmas light bulb earrings. He figured it out, and decided the cookies were safe and took a few.

Today I am packing some, many, of the cookies up to send to my son. He’s pretty excited.

Love and light to all.

Christmas Decorating, Cookies, Shopping, Wrapping, Meals…And Mercury Retrograde for Added Stress

It seems that Mercury has picked an unruly time to go retrograde. Right before the holidays? Come on. We are all dealing with the stress of it.  Miscommunication seems rampant, and I think it’s worse because there is the added stress of the holidays.

Maybe women more than men, but I could be wrong. It’s just that in my life experience, the women take the brunt of the work for Christmas. Like, shopping….ok, my case was extreme because of the man I was married to, but I did all the shopping. And wrapping.  Every last present. I only had one kid, but that’s enough when you are working, managing a house, etc. Then I had to make sure the gifts got mailed, in time to reach whoever they needed to reach. All of my family’s gifts were mailed.

That alone, having to buy all the gifts, made me a little bitchy.  Without the added help of Mercury Retrograde.

Then there are cookies. Dozens of cookies of many varieties. When I was married, I made literally 70 dozen cookies. Special Christmas only cookies. I made so many because I gave them away a lot, to teachers, and bus drivers, and CCD teachers, and friends. The last 5 or 6 years in CT my BFF and I would get together to make them. We could bang them out in about 5 hours and have some fun with it. But I usually went home to make a couple more. The picture below was a days work last year here in FL, by myself.

christmas cookies

Then of course, meals. Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. We women generally plan it all….and cook most of it. It’s not like Thanksgiving in sheer volume, but it’s a lot of food. Happily, I am with a man who loves to cook, and/or help cook. But for years, for me, I was alone or just doing it all alone anyway.

It was no wonder that Christmas Day I didn’t want to go anywhere. Maybe not even change out of my nightgown.

I remember getting to Christmas Eve dinner at my sister-in-law’s house when my son was young, and we still saw my ex’s family on holidays. I remarked to her, as my entitled ex parked himself in front of a wonderful dinner, “Can you imagine getting to Christmas Eve dinner and not having done ONE thing to make it happen?”

I sound like a grinch, don’t I? Well….let’s just say that things are different for me now. I am close to my family, now. I have an amazing man in my life, who wants Christmas to be a special thing too….and contributes just as much as me. (I have to laugh, a little. The entitled one will get a free dinner where he is, anyway, I guess. Karma is at work, for him and for me.)

On to start the Christmas cookie marathon. Love and light to all.

Christmas Shopping, Etc.

Christmas shopping. Yikes. It’s on us, almost past us (!)  and I am barely started. The list is not too long, luckily, but I have been wracking my brain to think of suitable gifts and have only covered my son, who always only wants money, and Dan. My sisters, my brother-in-laws, Dan’s family.

I have loved having someone with me who actually wanted to help decorate the tree this year, and who put up lights outside. It’s fun to Christmas shop with someone who genuinely wants  get people presents they will appreciate. Last night we were looking online for gifts for his grandkids, ages 6 and 8, and came up with a Lionel train set. We also found a good gift for Dan to give my sis and brother-in-law.

As with most things, Christmas shopping changes when you can share it, and not make it a burden.  Usually, I am overwhelmed with shopping, having to do it all myself along with wrapping and mailing. This year it feels different, like almost fun.

Come to think of it, a lot of things are different in a positive way this year.

But I digress.

We were going to go to Kohl’s today, armed with 30% off coupons, a $15 off coupon, and the promise of lots of Kohl’s cash back ($10 for every $50 we spent.) The operative word is “were” because I got an email from Kohl’s today announcing that Santa was going to be at Kohl’s today only.


Instead, we postponed the shopping trip until tomorrow, and we are beginning a closet organizer project which will almost double my hanging clothes space. I’m pretty excited about that. I live in a house almost 100 years old, and closets were not a big thing 100 years ago. I have enough for my stuff, though barely. Not much room for another person’s stuff.

It’s a good project for today for another reason. Although it is brilliantly sunny, it is cold here, literally. 46° F when I got up. And windy. Not exactly a beach day. So it’s a good day to get stuff done inside.

Maybe with any luck I’ll be able to get more shopping done online. I had planned to make Dan’s mom a piece of jewelry, maybe I can get that done today too.

Now that I’ve sorted out my day, I guess I’ll get busy. I have to do Christmas cookies this week too, so I can get them in the mail to my son. Enough procrastinating.

Love and light to all.

Out For a Spin

She woke up to the gentle rocking of the boat as it lay at anchor in New Harbor, Block Island. It was still quiet, and the early morning daylight made silhouettes of the portholes on the sheer cloth blinds in the forward cabin. She was always the first one up, because she loved to sit in the cockpit with her coffee and immerse herself in the sounds, sights, and scents as the day broke at sea.

This morning a human sound was added to that of the gulls, and waves breaking. At first she thought she imagined it, but no, it was the sound of children’s voices calling “Help!” She looked out the porthole and there were two very young boys, maybe 6 and 4, in an inflatable dinghy floating toward the channel on the outgoing tide. They were using their hands to try to get back to their boat, obviously unaware that two small pairs of hands are no match for an ebbing tide

She woke her husband from his sound sleep. “You have to go get these kids! They’re floating toward the channel in a dinghy!” He sat up, and looked out the porthole, and quickly got up and pulled on a bathing suit. He unlocked the dinghy from the swim platform, got in and started up the motor. In no time he was on his way to the wayward boys.

When he got to them, he tied their dinghy to his and as he did he said to the boys, “Don’t you guys know how to row?” After all there were oars on the dinghy as well as a small outboard motor.

“No…..” they answered in unison, casting their eyes downward in embarrassment.

“Don’t either of you know how to start the motor?” he asked.

The older boy looked up at him and explained. “Our daddy won’t teach us until we learn how to row.”

Note: This is a third person account of an true incident that happened to my ex and I about 30 years ago. I wonder if the boys ever learned to row. Or if the father learned to lock the dinghy to the transom of the boat.

Must Be What Paradise is Like

I’m getting ready for my girlfriends/writers group to come over. It will be a fun afternoon for sure. Then I’ll head to St. Pete to Dan’s. I listen to music while I clean, and set up. Right now I’m listening to Van Morrison’s “So Quiet In Here.” He sings “This must be what paradise is like” and I’m thinking yeah, this must be. Good friends, a wonderful man, incomparable weather now, in the 80’s, dry, clear skies and balmy breezes. This must be what paradise is like, for sure. Life is amazing, how it can turn out.

So, because I’m pressed for time, a little, I thought I’d just put up a link to the song, and hope you all enjoy it, and that your Sunday is filled with love and friends. Love and light to all.


Lessons From A Fern

My sister has a staghorn fern. It’s huge, kind of like the one in this picture, though hers is not as prolific as this one.

hI have always loved it, and finally was able to find one at our local Tuesday fresh market. It is in a pot. The man who runs that booth explained that it is just a cutting from another larger plant and needs to develop roots, so I should leave it in that pot for awhile. He also told me it didn’t need to be watered, which my sister also told me. I maybe didn’t hear that right though, maybe just during the rainy humid season it doesn’t need it.

I hung it out on my deck from the overhang when I bought it last summer. It did pretty well then, I suppose because it rains every day and is so humid here. Now that the weather has dried up some, it’s not doing so well. I just googled the care of it, and it seems that now I need to attach it to a board, after I wrap the roots ball in burlap and soak it. It also does well in a wire basket if you want to hang it. Mine is in a pot. I’m sure that by now, it’s got roots and needs to be put in a pot or hung on a board (which seems to be the preferred method). So I have some work to do on it.

I am not a gardener. I have a small herb garden, but truth be told, Dan takes care of it much more than me. Last year, I did ok watering the herbs so I could use them for cooking. I manage to water my shrubs in front of the house when necessary, if Dan doesn’t have time (though, you might remember last time I did this I got 6 hornet stings on my butt.) But honestly, watering is about the extent of my gardening.

I really wanted one of these staghorn ferns. This plant, once I get it properly hung with the burlap, in the right place, seems like the care is pretty easy. Water it every so often, and mist it. Legend has it that you can fertilize it with a banana peel. I guess that I need to take the responsibility on to care for it. Seems like it’s easier than a cat or a dog to deal with, right?

It should be, but at the moment I am afraid I’ve killed it, neglected it beyond repair. I hope not. I hope I can save it. I don’t know why I didn’t look up the proper care of it when I bought it, instead of thinking I’d bought a plant that needed nothing but whatever nature gave it. My naivete is astounding at times.

Live and learn, I guess. We are all a work in progress.

Love and light.