Month: December 2010

Attention, hunters and trackers amungus

When I let Herself outside this a.m., these tracks greeted me. The long, one-piece, swerving, parallel ones. Gauger’s prints are from yesterday, when he brought me pho and cold pills. Blue’s are from a couple of days ago. The raccoons’ (and probably bunnies’) are from several nights; I seem to be on their Nightly Rounds Map.

There are no additional hooman prints I can find, nor anything else that wasn’t there last night. The end (or origin) of one, at the front, looks a bit like a slid-sideways people foot, but there isn’t a corresponding one for the other track. I don’t see anything that might be bobcat or even coyote tracks, and coyotes don’t carry their tails low enough to make tracks, and certainly not two parallel ones. Nor do bobcats, I think.

What can they be? Have I monsters? Has my muddy little crick below begun to produce Mutated Creatures from the Perilous Lagoon?


Added later: The round bits circled in red look like the bottom of one of those casters you can buy that go under heavy furniture to make it easy to move. Perfectly flat (and as far as I can tell, level), with slightly curved edge. One at each end. Maybe 23/4 to three inches in diameter.

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How’s this for sucking?

I was tentatively planning to go to Snaotheus’s today for the turkey dinner part of Christmas, depending on how my ankle felt, since it was ice-worthy for a couple of days after Friday’s trip. So what do I wake up to? A sore throat and a 101 deg. temperature. Damn! That wretched little black cloud seems to’ve found me again. Argh! Argh!

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Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

What a lovely weekend! I drove down to Snaotheus and KrisDi’s Friday to share Christmas Eve dinner with them and KrisDi’s family. While dinner cooked, I saw the almost-finished nursery, and it looks fantastic. Gender-neutral, sophisticated, and very pleasant and relaxing.

This was my first experience of a Polish Christmas Eve dinner, which evidently is different from other dinners. It contained both meat and cheese pierogis (which I may not be spelling right), two kinds of sausage, sauerkraut and sausage cooked together, rolled-up cod fillets, and baked cod, along with KrisDi’s world-famous bean salad. My cranberry salad made it onto the table, but we nearly forgot it.

They introduced me to a tradition that was really quite sweet. They call it opล‚atki (notice that “l” has a little squiggly line through it; I think that means it’s pronounced like a “w”). It involves taking thin, dry crackers like communion wafers (for non-Catholics, rather like paper-thin unflavored wheat crackers) and sharing them with everybody present. You break a bit of cracker off the ones they hold, and they break a bit off yours; you pop ’em in your respective mouths, give each other a hug, and pass along good Christmas wishes. Of course, I managed to get one stuck on the roof of my mouth and couldn’t get it off.

Given that two families were passing gifts around, it’s not surprising that the unwrapping quickly degenerated into friendly chaos. Instead of saying, “Awwww!” when he opened the package containing the Apple Bear look-alike (named Pear Bear) I’d painstakingly knitted using thick yarn and tiny needles (read: dense, durable fabric; sore, sore fingers), he said, “It’s Apple Bear’s evil twin! It’s smirking!” Here’s Pear Bear:


KrisDi seemed to get a kick out of the owl hat and the Bender outfit. Then we got into the chocolate coffee cake that Pixel Chick brought, and the deadly triple-chocolate Kahlua cheesecake that KrisDi baked. They flattened most of us. Kapow. As long as I’m doing pickchers, here’s the owl hat etc.:




After driving home, I had to pack ice on my ankle yet again. Geez! I wish someone would just cut the damned feet off and be done with it! Christmas Day, I took Rob over to Grandma’s to share her Christmas dinner. This was more like it’s been in years past: They had both prime rib (yummm!) and turkey, and they fed us pecan pie. I took her some of the cranberry stuff and some of the Polish food for later, and shared some of the Polish food with Rob, too (since his grandfather came from Poland). Grandma enjoyed her new t-shirt showing an ultrasound of Chilkat, with appropriate wording, and refused to share the Lindt chocolates with anyone. Silly old woman. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here she is with her Chilkat t-shirt:


While Grandma was unwrapping her presents, we heard music coming from down the hall. It sounded lovely and the people behind us were arguing (rather loudly) about whether it was a record or live. We wheeled Grandma into the “fireplace room,” where it turned out that a tenor saxophonist and a guitar player were serenading their grandmother with (quite wonderful) Christmas music. I asked the saxophonist later if he played for pay; it turned out he’s traveled all over the world as a professional musician (I was not surprised. He was good.)

Came home after that and watched “The Hogfather,” which is Required Watching for Christmas along with “A Christmas Story.” Grandma had already “lost” her Chilkat t-shirt this a.m.; it eventually turned up hanging in the bathroom, where she’d put it “to steam” and get the (nonexistent) wrinkles out. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Bless her heart. Princess’s scabby neck has healed up nicely, too, and fur’s growing back. Took advantage of a couple of Boxing Day sales (thumb drives! yay!), then came home, installed my new scanner, and putzed around (which included baking some bacon with brown sugar on, just to see what it’s like, of course). I’m really good at putzing around. If only a person could get paid for it!

Y’all stay warm and it sounds like you better stay off the roads, too! It’s snowing outside a bit here; that may affect my still-tentative plan to go back down to Seattle tomorrow.

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A quick postscript

A coupla thoughts after seeing the current Harry Potter today. It’s worth seeing, especially if you’ve kept up with them. But. . .

1. This is a really good 90-minute movie. Unfortunately, it lasts for 120 minutes.

2. I get really aggravated at things that aren’t accurate, even though it’s a fantasy movie. Like pythons with pit-viper mouths. And discontinuities: They leave their bags in the forest when they’re captured, but later they have things that were in their bags.

3. Wow. Harry Potter is really flat-footed, and the woman (Hazel Douglas) who plays Bathilda, the old crone who knows the Dumbledore family, pronates terribly on her left foot. Why do I notice these things?

4. It’s nice that the director for this film, like the last few, is not Chris Columbus, whose idea of sophisticated humor is a wide-eyed, gape-jawed little kid slapping his hands to his face and screaming (think “Home Alone”). However, this one is a bit too self-consciously grim. It’s nice to see more relationship development among The Three, but too much contrivance is involved.

5. I expect that the upcoming finale will be equally (and equally pointlessly) long. It’s inexcusable when Story is so obviously and unapologetically subordinated to the god of money. Sigh.

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Chilkat prediction

Snaotheus and KrisDi were joking last weekend about the meaning of “Chilkat,” the incubational name for the grandfetus whose gender is presently unknown. Being the clever creature that I am, I looked it up. It means “salmon storehouse,” which I think may be prophetic given Chilkat’s parents’ predilection for yummy food. Of all kinds, not just salmon, but still. . .

Since I’m unlikely to post again before C-day, may you all have a merry, joyous holiday with lots of yummy food, good friends, happy (or at least congenial. . . ok, under truce) families, and good health. I wish I could gather you up for a rowdy communal dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

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