Dec 28, 2010

Presence on the 25th

Okay, so I've become a bit of a knitting addict over the past year. It's true. This time of year, though provides a great reason to indulge in my addiction.

I made my mom this cute hat and scarf. The hat is from a pattern I bought, and I designed the scarf to match. My first cable project was a success. Yay! My mom loved them too. I still have to get pictures of her in them.
(Yes, I am posing funny. Good call. =P )

We all had a lovely time together on the Christmas. I am not religious, but it's wonderful to have a day to focus on gratitude for loved ones and to spend lots of quality time together. And since the 25th is already part of a tradition in that vein, I decided I'd go with it.

Plus, both from lack of funds and aversion to super-consumerism, our house managed to have a great balance of presents, goodies, and QT.

So, we had a few presents, some lovely lights, and made food all day. This chocolate candy cane cake (from Cook's Illustrated) is unbelievably moist, rich, and addictive. Thankfully, all the dairy and sugar hurts my belly if I eat more than a little. So, moderation wins this time!

We had a special house guest for the holidays too. Olivia, the (thank-the-lords potty trained!) persian. (I've had some bad uriney experiences with others of her breed.) She was a doll, and she learned to tolerate the kitteny advances of Hoshi pretty quickly.

I let Cas sleep in...okay, and myself. After all, I was up until 3am wrapping presents, though to be fair, I didn't start until 1-ish. Plus, most of that time was occupied with present - a Tartine bread book. (Aside: Tartine is the best bakery I've ever encountered. If you're in San Francisco, you MUST try it. Yes, you may spend some time in line. So worth it, though. We get bread from them every week. Yum!) I created a cute little carrying book cover using a Bi-Rite handle bag. (I bet you can't wait to see it unwrapped...)

I pretty much lost steam after that one, but luckily, there were only a couple more to wrap. A few for Cas and one for Hoshi, the kitty sis.

Cas sniffed out one of his gifts right away. Bully stick! Score!! (gross. I know, but he loves 'em.)

(The video's a bit long, but I know some of Cas's family wanna see every second. Really. It's not that I don't want to take the time to edit it. I don't know why you'd even think that. Ridiculous, really. Many people want to see all of this... Really. They will.)

Our dane meet-up group had a secret dane deer gift exchange, and Castor scored big time! A large, green box arrived a few days before Christmas, and we finally got to see what was filling it. OMG there were 1,000 toys inside. Cas's emotions ran the gambit - curiosity, excitement, boredom (as I struggled to detach all of them from the box), glee, and finally, overwhelm (see: right).

There were so many, after they were all freed up, he froze, eyes glazing over. Time for a break, it seemed.

So, I put them all away except for the fuzzy one that he just loves to nibble on. Nibble, nudge, nibble, nudge, ... ad nauseum.

Hoshi's turn! We got her a cute little brown mouse that makes chirpy noises every time you tap it. She was less curious than I'd expect from a cat, but eventually she wrestled a bit with her new, chirpy friend/foe.

A week later, after assuming that she must have lost it, she reunited herself with it as I was trying to sleep. It turns out it was hiding just behind the head of my bed... Did I mention that it chirps incessantly? (Just listen to the soundtrack of the Castor video above.)

Anyway, she doesn't leave it alone now...unless of course, we hide it from her. (Wah ha ha.)

On to people presents. Well, Rob got some yarn, sweetness note cards, and, as I mentioned, an awesomely packaged bread book. ;-)

I got some Addi turbo knitting needles (yay!), a Mary Oliver poetry book (ahh...), and a "curiously awesome" Koi toy. It's a fish that lights up when in water. Think of it as a plastic, fish-shaped, color-changing, floating candle-replacement for a curiously awesome bath time experience. (It is pretty awesome.)

After all the cheer, toys, goodies, and way, way too much Aimee Mann and Sinatra Christmas songs (yes, possible), we all veg'd a bit. We watched Angel on the couch with Cas.

Afterward, he retired to the floor cushions next to his bed. It seems he likes variety. Even if that means scrunching into a tiny ball to experience it. He has tried to curl up on our little 16x16 couch cushions before. No joke. What a goof.

I had such a beautiful time. Even without snow! I hope you all experienced oodles of warmth, laughter, and color too. ♥

The best part of this holiday has been reconnecting with loved ones from afar and spending time with those here, especially Cas. I have never been so continuously grateful to have him in my life. Every day. That's the one great thing that's come of his battle with cancer...You know, the thing he beat the S out of, the thing that is G-O-N-E...

Oh, how I love this boy!

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