Monday, December 31, 2018


this year's ornament from Lancaster PA 2018
 As I haven't really digested 2018, I'm going to skip the yearly recap and instead talk about some of my Christmas ornaments. I put my tree up last night and it was just as lovely on 30 December as it usually is a month earlier.

Found some gift bags that were sewn by Cris Weed~one of my favorite soprano friends. Since she is no longer around, I will treasure them even more. 1996.

I have box of these polished brass notes that a student in Tracy found at a garage sale EONS ago. She polished them up and tied red thread to all of them. 1994

From my student time in England~that tin had the best toffees. 1989

Probably my fav ornament~peanut reindeer made by my siblings. c 1990

Paper mache heart from my high school/college roommate. 1988

Lovely ornament from Barb~my college boss in several departments during my PUC years. 1990-93

White House ornament from the Obama years; this was when I came back here with my Texas kids for a history tour~never dreaming I'd be living the Beltway life! 2104

Cute lil fish from the Monterey Aquarium. It's odd how so many of my ornaments have bittersweet connections. I got this on a birthday trip just after a relationship ended and I was devastated. I went to the beach to grieve. My dad drove down and we went to the aquarium for a truly fun day~when I purchased this ornament. 2002

One of my favorite~Swedish glass from the Christmas Shoppe in San Francisco. 1986.

Not sure what year this was, but it was a droopy one as I wanted a tear drop for my ornament. :)

From my Mondavi supervisor who thought I was elegant. 2001

Purple glass heart from the Sonoma Square~one of those perfect days with good friends, food, and scenery. 2017

From my mom the year I got back from Newbold. 1990.

Yes, I did get this from the Miracle an 34th Street Macy's! Grad school years 2007-2009

From a Lincoln City glass shop~1991?

NEW ORLEANS!!! Still one of my best birthdays ever. 2012.

The very first ornament that kicked off this yearly collection.

Because nothing says festive like a monument to death and defeat~the Alamo. 2013.

Do you know how RARE it is to find my name? 

My sad little broken ferry egg. Seattle 2010.

Carnegie Hall!!!! 2009

Yes, it's a tacky tourist ornament. But I was there on a very cold December in 2010.

I also love these little block teddy bears from my siblings.

One of the more recent ones~an original by Josh. 2016.

My tree is up. My heart is merry. I look forward to seven more festive days before it gets stored. Wishing all of you a joyous and healthy 2019!!

But we all know the real new year happens in either September with a new school year, or in February when Chinese New Year kicks off. :) Nice to have so many fresh starts.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

voila, a few hours later

Gingerbread truffles on mark-down!

Enjoyed one of my stocking stuffers for lunch today. Browned butter/sage/garlic were tossed with it. And now here's a visual tour of my new home.

I combined a bday/Christmas gift card and a new piece of living room furniture will be arriving later this week!

You've NO idea how good it felt to ferry all my boxes to recycling today. I am not keeping a single one. While I do like my job a lot, I really don't want to go in tomorrow; I just want to stay home and nestle into this lovely space. Ah well, if it's as snowy a winter as predicted, I may get hours to work from home in January/February.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

I shall be moved

Standing in ankle deep muck and mire, watching the sunrise and waiting for the movers. Between moving stress and a bad cold, I was WIDE awake at 3 a.m. Thrilled to leave this place of no sidewalks.

It's perhaps a sad sign when your movers know you? I've had the same guy three times now~with others rotating in. They are a stellar moving company, but I hope to not need them for a very long time.

Got everything unloaded and walked across the street to Harris Teeter to get some basics for survival. I laughed when I saw these in the frozen aisle as one of my nieces is obsessed with Monkey Bread. Now I have bribery to get her to come and visit.

The same niece helped me choose this snazzy cover for my brand new Kindle Fire!! And miracle, Amazon guy actually found my doorstep. I'll post a map of the property and you'll understand.

Sweet little helper was worn out from the move~she and her mama came over and hung out in the unit while I stayed in the parking lot with the truck. Much appreciated help and company.

It's hard to articulate just how happy I am at present~it's been a long and strange two years. I am not one for communal living and am thrilled to have a lovely space all to myself. And yes, more photos will come once I tackle the cardboard chaos.

Friday, December 28, 2018


As I cleaned out the work fridge today, was thrilled to find a can of whipped cream. Fancy coffee was just what this dreary drippy Friday needed!

I dashed out early from work to hit the bank for a cashier's check and then I met up with my new landlady to get the keys/fobs. Turns out that she is great friends with one of our favorite ESL students and her daughter (llady) took music lessons at my former school in Bethesda. 

So, even though it feels like I don't know many people back here, I already have some connections!! Such a cool coincidence. I think I forgot to mention that I have an audition on the 8th for a local chorus~time to sink in some roots and find community.

I had loaded the trunk of my car yesterday and was happy to unload it and find that I had candles with me! My new home is so airy and spacious~looking forward to a very happy year there.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

really have no idea which day it is

but this card made me laugh.

My life is in boxes, my current place is deep cleaned, and I pick up my new keys tomorrow after work!!! I am ready for this move!