Saturday, December 19, 2009


Chug, the determined locomotive, I am slowly climbing out of my valley of stress, heading into the station of Christmas Spirit.

Though the days continue to be dull at times, some important landmarks have slid past.

The cards have been signed, stuffed, sealed and mailed...carrying with them my first ever Holiday Newsletter. I finally gave in this year, knowing that if I attempted to write individual notes in each card, the added obligation would tip me over the edge. As it was, the composition of the newsletter had me up past my bedtime Wednesday, but that's ok. I actually enjoyed it.

I was starting to relax Wednesday, as the I had started building momentum for climbing out of the valley. I had a half-day off work, to use up some leftover vacation time before year's end. I'd planned to use it in case I needed extra time to prepare the final exam for my French class that evening, but as it turned out, I was ready already.

So I came home from work at noon, actually cooked myself lunch, did some laundry, vacuuming and dishes, and finally felt like I was (nearly) caught up with housework.

The exam was short, so I got out an hour early, came home and finished grading...even submitting the final course grades online. Done! Free--relatively--until the second week of January.

Work is still busy, busy, but that half-day off helped me catch up, in an oddball way. So, though I had to still go in to work on Saturday, I got as far as touching on some of Friday's work--the most caught-up I've been in a month. I'll have to backtrack on Monday, but it's still good to know I'm getting closer.

And so, today, I took some time this morning to address my Christmas cards, pack up some gifts to mail off, and go to the post office on the way to work. Done, and done!

And maybe, just maybe...Rosie will get a little more attention these days. Here she is, helping clean out a casserole earlier this week.

Such a good, helpful girl.

(Nancy, the train pictures are for request!)

Chances are, I won't have time to post again before Christmas, so I'd like to wish everyone who celebrates it a happy one! Your continued reader- and friendship is one of my most valued gifts, every day of the year. Truly. Thank you.

And, as a gift to you, I'm gonna share a couple of new blogs I found recently (yeah, I know, what the hell am I doing looking for more blogs to keep up it holiday optimism).

The first, I picked up from the Blogroll of the Courteous Chihuahua. It's called Old Picture of the Day. It's exactly what its title describes: each day, a new photo, normally in black and white, or sepia, bringing to life a bygone era. It's a fascinating way to see what history looked like before it was history, and a pain-free way to learn something once in a while!

The second was on the Blogs of Note page, which I almost never look at. But I'm glad I did, because Not So Humble Pie is such a perfect fit for me: food, gorgeous pictures, and a bent for the scientific and nerdy. Yummy!

Enjoy, and hope Santa treats you all well.


  1. Gonna go check out the blog suggestions because they sound awesome. I used to check Blog of Note often but haven't in ages. I assume you know about Foodgawker? If not- google and prepare to spend a lot of time checking out food blogs!!

  2. I love it! I love it! Just now checking the blog, something I usually do in the morning, but went to my daughter's house to hold and cuddle Henry while they packed for a trip to the warm South. I was delighted to see the trains and planned to comment on them, then saw that you included the pics for ME!!! Thank you! I get to hear train whistles several times a day in my new home town, but I still love the small trains.

    Nancy in Iowa

  3. Flart, I have certainly enjoyed our blog friendship this past year. I know you don't have the time to post often but I always look forward to them. Here's hoping you have time to kick back some over the holidays and spend quality time with Rosie.

    yes, if you brought Velveeta into a Chef's house, I'd be worried about your safety. :-)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours honey.

  4. Rosie has the prettiest tail ever! Will she be getting any special treats for Christmas, too?

    I liked that firsr photo of the train so much. I also like the building with the person leaning against the post. Nicely done.
    I also really like the peeks onto your Christmas tree, too. Such wonderful ornaments you have.

    Oh and to your question. Yes, they do have My Little Pony concerts/shows. Think "Huge Dancing Muppet Ponies" It was so sweet I thought I might need to see a dentist afterwards for the cavities I thought I must have gotten during the show. lol!

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you, my friend!


  5. thanks for sharing these links!

  6. Your pictures are AWE-SOME! Thanks for sharing.

    Glad you're getting caught up-- Time seems to fly during the holidays.

    I hope your Christmas is wonderful. It's been a pleasure getting to know you thin year.

    Happy holidays,

  7. Hey, Flartus: I have been terrible about reading my fave blogs (as well as updating mine) over the past few months. Stupid personal life drama...hoping I will find inspiration in the New Year. Happy Holidays to you and Miss Chef. :-)


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