It is Christmas. ▲

Wednesday, December 25




It's Christmas today.

I wrote this villanelle in October of 2009 for a poetry class.  I originally posted it here.  I know it's not great. I don't remember the grade or feedback I got on it. But I like it and it's the time of year when you should appreciate the small things that make you smile. Like silly poems.

Christmas means red and green,
the scuffling of tiny feet on hardwood floors
and shiny ornaments which reflect the light
from the blinking bulbs on the Christmas tree,

and sugar sprinkles melting on cookies
next to the glass of milk waiting for Santa,
and listening for the sounds of reindeer hooves all night.
Christmas means red and green,

and sitting on the couch warm and toasty
in front of the fire burning gold
on frost nipped fingers and wiggling toes
while the light bulbs twinkle on the Christmas tree,

and hidden presents and popcorn strings
and dreaming about everything Santa might bring
While Sinatra sings, “… merry and bright …”
Christmas means red and green,

snow on the window panes melting
and steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows as white
as Santa’s beard and wide smile,
and the blinking bulbs on the Christmas tree,

and waking up to the smell of turkey
on the type of morning when the cold feels right.
Because Christmas means red and green
and light bulbs blinking on the Christmas tree.

I hope you are spending today somewhere you enjoy - like wrapped up warm and cozy in the arms of the man you love, or saying goodbye to old grudges, or burning your impatient tongue on bubbly hot chocolate.  If there's ice skating involved, count me jealous.

Anyway, maybe save the presents for later.  Remember what's important.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Today ▲

Tuesday, December 24





Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2014, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country). Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, or religion of the wishee.

* I don't remember the original source for this - I found it on Facebook a few years ago.

The Countdown to Christmas ▲

Wednesday, December 11




I got our tree up the weekend before Thanksgiving, so we've had plenty of time to enjoy it.  This year I stuck with my red/white/gold theme, but also added a few rustic touches.  There are a few antler ornaments and the bow on top is made of burlap.


I think it came together pretty nicely, though one my favorite ornaments is not rustic at all.  I found it at the Hallmark store (there were about 3226141 I wanted to buy), but I thought it was too sweet to pass up.  The most annoying part about the tree this year is the way I decided to arrange the furniture.  I'm ready to get the living room back to its normal set up.



Gratitude ▲

Wednesday, December 4



I missed the "gravy boat," so to speak, on expressing my gratitude Thanksgiving Day.  I have no real excuse other than I've been lazy.

I woke up this morning, after almost 10 hours of sleep, and crept out of bed to plant myself on the couch.  Mike is still sleeping after a 12 hour night shift in the cold and crazy dark of Aiken County.  The house is warm - the heat is on full speed.  I bundle myself up in a blanket anyway, and sink deep into the cushions.  The cats are running around, chasing each other, rocketing off pieces of furniture and bounding down the hall after one another.  The dogs take a more melancholy approach to the morning, curling up for naps after their breakfast.

There is some studying I could be doing, but I don't want to.  I feel happy this morning.  It may have something to do with FSU's 37-7 win over in-state rival, UF.  Alabama's loss to Auburn may also be a contributing factor.  The sex scandal looming over our star quarterback, Jameis Winston, surely has nothing to do with it.  It's fall, so football is on the mind.

But the house is toasty.  My tree is lit and the living room is glowing.  I've got most of my Christmas shopping done, at least for the important people (family).  Mike and I are already filling up our calendar with fun things this December.  We are fat and happy and I have nothing to complain about.

This year, that's what I'm thankful for.  We have nothing to complain about.  We are together and working (some days more than others) on strengthening our marriage.  We have four crazy/annoying/hilarious/loving animals to keep us entertained and warm our laps.  We laugh a lot.  We drink a little.  We're here now.  And that is plenty.

Disclaimer: I wrote this on Sunday and scheduled it for later in the week

The Puppy ▲

Tuesday, December 3




My puppy is turning into a dog.  I barely even recognize him any more.  He weighs about 25 pounds now and is quickly gaining on Bella as far as his height is concerned.

But he's sweet as ever.


How to Get Rid of a Tree Stump ▲

Monday, December 2




Yes, this is a blog post about a stump.  Before I moved in with Mike, this stump was a giant pine tree.  Shortly before I moved in, Mike and his roommate had it cut down.  They decided to cut it at this height and leave it in the yard because they thought it'd make a cool outdoor high top table...yes I'm being serious.

Anyway, four years later we finally decided to do something about it.  Initially we were going to carve it into a snowman for the holidays and deal with it in January.  Nature had other plans.  The stump was completely rotten and ant infested, so the executive decision was made to burn it.

If you ever plan on burning a tree stump in your yard, here is a comprehensive to-do list.

1. Drill holes into your stump.

2. Pour gasoline into the holes and all over the stump.

3. Soak the grass around the stump with water to avoid accidentally igniting your yard (and other basic safety reasons).

4. Light it on fire.


Eventually it burned down quite a bit and we were able to sit by it that night and enjoy a little bonfire.


5. Once it burns down a bit, shovel the charred pieces into a wheel barrow and soak them with water.  Pile them off to the side.

6. Drill more holes into the core.  Soak with gasoline.

7. Light it on fire, again.

Unfortunately, even after letting the stump smolder over night, we still had quite a bit left the next morning.   Most of the tree was rotten but the core was pretty solid.


We let it burn all day and finally by the afternoon it broke up into two pieces.  So then we had a baby stump.  On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we got some diesel (because it burns slower) and we lit it on fire twice more.  The roots finally started burning and disconnecting from each other, slowly but surely the stump lost its strength.  It's still holding on and not quite small enough yet.  Once it's no longer poking up above the grass line we can just fill the hole in with dirt and call it a day.

I'm not sure what the game plan is right now - maybe Mike will attack it with an axe and dig it up.  Maybe we'll burn it a few more times.  It's been pretty handy having a giant fire pit to toss our paper trash into, though.

So perhaps this wasn't a very good "how to get rid of a tree stump" post...because we still technically have a stump.

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