Friday, January 05, 2007

Coming out from the edge of the holidays

Some of you may have been done with the holidays long ago, say, the day after Christmas or Yule, or perhaps New Year's Day finished it off for you. Not for me. I'm just today, with the last of the temporary visitors departure (we have more houseguests who are indefinite and long term, but that's another story altogether), feeling like the holidays are winding down.

We put the Yule tree up so late this year that I'm just now starting to think about taking it down. I like to take it down on a good "finish" date. I used to take it down on New Year's Day. This year we were still in the midst of holiday activities on New Years. Tomorrow, the "12th Day of Christmas" is another possibility. The other option is February 2, which is the last date by which holiday greenery was supposed to be taken down in many Celtic traditions. On occasion I've actually managed to make it all the way to February 2 before taking down the tree, but that was more out of laziness or busyness then because I really wanted to keep it up that long! So, tomorrow, or perhaps the next day if we count tomorrow as still holiday, will be the take-down-the-tree day.

Whew. I'm ready.

Joe and Lisa and baby Joli left today. They'll spend the weekend visiting more family and friends in Redding before heading home to San Diego on Monday. I was sad to see them all leave. I must have kissed Joli's soft baby hair a thousand times in the last hour as they were packing up the car. I'm determined to get together at least every three months this year, during Joli's first year. Babies grow and change so quickly!

But, after I waved the kids off, don't think I wasn't happy to run off to the coffee shop myself and spend some quiet time along with a cup of coffee and a notebook. I was finally able to write out a number of planning lists for the coming year. I wrote a To-Do-Today list, a To-Do-In-January list, a To-Do-This-Year list, a Books-To-Read-This-Year list, and finally a Three-Year-Plan list. (Why a three year and not, say, a five year plan? Because William graduates high school in three years and so that's the amount of time we have before we can act on any major life changes - we're planning to relocate then or soon after that).

My brain is still sort of boggled around from all the noise and babies and holiday activities, so I can't say these lists are complete. But I've started them at least, and I can add to them as I remember new tasks or goals or books. I'm happy.

I promised to share my book list. Here are the titles I've written down so far:

Books To Read This Year

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
The Assassin's Apprentice trilogy by Robin Hobbs. (A friend gave me the three books and I've only read the first one, I want to finish the second two because I feel guilty for holding on to them for so long without passing them on for someone else to enjoy next.)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling - this will be a reread. I've worked my way through the rest of the books already. I'm currently in the middle of rereading the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (Of course if the seventh and final book is published this year, I hope to have that one read before the book is two days out!)
Blame It On Paris by Laura Florand. I read an interview with the author over on Faster the Kudzu and trusting Joshilyn's taste in literature and being enamored of all things French lately, I've been trying to find it ever since. I just ordered it tonight from Amazon after failing to find it anywhere nearby.
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (because, see above, I want to read Reading Lolita in Tehran, I should probably read Lolita first!)
The Truth - With Jokes by Al Franken
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Witching Hour by Ann Rice
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson


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