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December 26, 2006



Congratulations, Barbara.

Julie, your new pink robe sounds warm. Gotta stay warm in this horrid weather, and what's up with all these small earthquakes lately? Freaky!

Julie Anne Long

Oh yeah!! I was going to mention the earthquakes, Diana (Diana's from San Francisco, too). There were three little ones locally, weren't there? And a very big one today near Taiwan, though thankfully it sounds like there wasn't too much damage, at least according to news reports. I felt two of the quakes—mercifully, they were the short, sharp kind. At least, that's how I experienced them. (When you're from the San Francisco Bay Area and if you experienced the big '89 quake, even the little quakes make you EXTRA jumpy. LOL.) And we're supposed to get that big storm this afternoon, so I'm trying to get some work done, in case we lose power. My Christmas socks and robe are definitely coming in handy. :)

How's the holiday weather for everyone else?? Who has snow? Anybody have some balmy spring temps??

Ah, I hear the rain now...the storm has begun!

Haven Rich

I survived! Actually I slept most of the day. So I suppose Christmas was relaxing for me hehe. We ate around noon-ish and I went to bed shortly after.

As for gifts...Well my favorite is the one I picked out while shopping on the 23rd. A Beta (fish) named Leo.

Hope everyone had a wonderful time!

BTW, I think the weather was cool. Don't recall if it was raining or not.

Ohh yeah, congrats Barbara! You are sure to enjoy this book, it's awesome!

Kathy K

Congratulations Barbara!

And Christmas was very nice...I got my day planner {thanks to my 19 year old daughter (^.^)} and BOOKS from my list ~ Yippee! Now I've got something new to read during the days off I have. I also got a new heating pad, a CD of one of my favourite bands/singers, a pass to the local swimming pool for 10 visits ~ YES! ~ some new glasses for our kitchen...we are ALWAYS breaking glasses...you'd think that now are kids are grown up we'd be past that...nuh uh ~ and some new oven mitts that actually work!! And this was just from my immediate family, so I'm very happy.
And sooooo lazy today. I took my mom home ~ she was with us for two days ~ and then came home, slept for a couple of hours and told everyone that I'm making our Boxing Day meal tomorrow...I didn't feel like cooking, or even eating much, so it's a fend for yourself night..very relaxing!

Hope your weather improved Julie and Diana ~ and no more earthquakes... yikes! It's been nice here; blue sky and warmer temperatures...the weather gave us a great Christmas present ~ finally. ^.^

Well, back to one of my new books...and letting the family get their own dinner...it's my night off!

Take care, everyone.


Nope, no stupor yet. I got home about 6 hours ago but after having a nap (after some very short nights sleeping in different beds), I decided to get my blog fix--when this stupid computer lets me. I've brought home a newer one--though it wasn't officially a present. If it performs better than this, it'll certainly be considered a great gift. I spent most of last night learning some of the programs on it watching what my brother took off as unnecessary. I now have a $3000 AutoCad program which I have no idea what to do with. However, there was a $12000 program on it which I will never use--far too technical for me--which he did erase. So, yes, my wish for a workable computer probably came true though I haven't put it to the test yet. At the moment I have 3 computers standing around in front of my desk. What wealth!--if I knew what to do with them.

Congratulations on the fluffy pink robe and socks. For the first time in my life, I actually got a Christmas stocking at my sister's yesterday morning which also held 3 pairs of socks, a de rigueur "stocking" present as I was told. I admit I've never had a Christmas morning like this one either with a 4-year-old handing out presents and earnestly making a distinction between what Santa brought and what presents were given by family members. Watching the little ones is a joy that I haven't had in this form since I was about 18 seeing my own siblings play with their new toys. Unfortunately, my great-niece was with her mother's family and I didn't get to see her at all. She's such a sweetie at 16 months.

We went for Christmas Dinner to my brother's where we watched Seth earnestly play with his Superman "computer", had to rescue all sorts of goodies from Hope, the shepherd-Husky mix and make sure that Cody, the blind schnauzer, knew where he was going. After only my brother, his wife and I were left, it was down to computer explanations. Most things that my brother tried didn't work on either of the machines that he had but I hope that I now have something that is more reliable than this thing.

N.B. By German custom we always celebrated the gift-giving on Christmas Eve or somehow worked it into Christmas Day before dinner. Socks are not German either though we always got a plate full of cookies, sweets, nuts and mandarin oranges.

Barbara Elness

Thanks so much for picking me! I have sent you my address and I look forward to reading Ways To Be Wicked. My Christmas was very quiet, I got several nice gifts and stayed snuggled inside as it was raining quite hard most of the day. Now it's on to Happy New Year!

Julie Anne Long

Hi girls! Glad to see you survived the holidays, a few socks and oven mitts and glasses richer, to boot!! Frankly, I genuinely love opening up gifts like socks and oven mitts. LOL. First, it's just fun to open a present, because you don't know what's inside, and surprise always adds a little piquancy to anything. :) And secondly, those are things we often forget to buy for ourselves. And I'm so busy these days that gifts like those are often gifts of time, in a way, in that I don't have to go out and get them. And YAY, Ranurgis, on your new computer!! Can't wait to hear whether you get sound on that thing. :) And socks aren't German, eh? But I think Germans are responsible for bringing the Christmas tree tradition here to the States, if I recall correctly. ("Oh, Tannenbaum...")

A Beta is a lovely Christmas gift, Haven. But how on earth do your cats co-exist with your fish??

WILDLY windy today! And the light is bright and pale. Very strange weather. No more earthquakes recently, however (earnestly knocking on wood right after I typed THAT.)

Well, I suppose there's one more holiday to go, isn't there? I'm in the process of deciding what to do for New Year's Eve. Getting ANYWHERE in the city on New Year's Eve is nearly impossible unless you have a limo dedicated solely to you (crowds, not enough cabs), and all the places I might normally go out to are having expensive "events." And I feel like I did just about everything that could be done on New Year's Eve in my wild youth. LOL. But I'm really not in the mood to stay home. So we'll have to see!!

Congrats again on the ARC, Barbara!! Let me know if you like the story, when you get a chance to read it! Try not to drop it in the tub. :) (Oh wait -- that's what *I* normally do.) Put your feet up ladies, if you can, and relax for the rest of the week. :)


I love gifts like this. My favorite this year was a handmade rosary. It made me cry.
And this year, instead of buying me something like Adobe Premium Pro, which I still don't know how to use, my husband bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer! This will save hundreds of dollars trying to make divinity!!!!!!


I'm not complaining about the weather today because I prefer windy over rainy and stormy any day. Even though I've lived in SF most my life, I still get terrified when I feel the littlest earthquake.

Julie Anne Long

Janie, what a wonderful gift—your rosary! Something to cherish always. And the mixer is a pretty good one, too!! LOL. I used my handmixer so much this holiday season, and enjoyed baking so much (I had more time this year, and I have a pretty good kitchen for cooking in now), I started having dreams of the bigger, deluxe kind of mixer...those big sexy ones that sit on the countertop, like in America's Test Kitchen (I love that show. LOL.) Maybe I'll go for it in 2007. :) I'm kind of fond of my old mixer, though. It's probably 20 years old, easy, and it still works like a trooper (although the motor smells just a wee bit when I fire that puppy up. LOL). But I should probably upgrade all my cooking stuff -- I've been cooking a lot more this year in general, both because I have a little more time and energy for it now, and because I'm trying to save a little money (you guys would think I'm clean out of my mind if I told you what rent here is in San Francisco), and I *love* interesting food -- it makes life worth living, frankly -- so I challenged myself to learn how to make it myself. Necessity is the mother of invention, and etc. LOL. But I've been having fun doing it! I haven't tackled Indian food, yet, but my Thai food has so far been pretty successful. LOL. I'm kind of proud of myself!! Tonight, however, it's Tarragon chicken salad.

Diana, I walked outside and every leaf in the neighborhood seemed to have blown under my security gate. It was pretty funny and kind of bizarre. I had to sweep out there. Yeah, the sunshine is *really* welcome, regardless of the gale force winds. I'm just glad the trees outside aren't as tall as the power lines or the house yet. LOL.


Weather hasn't been bad here.

I hope your storm didn't do too much damage and none that affected you. You're really not set up for snowstorms or really rough weather. Each building here that's meant for man or beast has lots of insulation. You have to take special measures if you want to assure that a place that has water lines yet doesn't get used during the winter doesn't freeze at any time. The temperature today, especially with the windchill was definitely below freezing.

Please let us know if the storm affected you in any way.

That "Yay" is still provisional. I'll have to see how it does in practice after I've added all the stuff from my computer. After all, I lost 6 months of work in my book database because I accidentally copied the archived file onto the "live" file. And I put an awful lot of work into it. I thought I was finally catching up on cataloging my books and now I have to take all the books off the shelves to make sure. That'll teach me to be careful--even when I'm in a rush. That happened before I left for Mexico. After I got back, I wondered why my database was no longer on my computer. I'd even completely archived it but it was just a minute until I had the old old one back. Sigh.

Before I went to the Dom. Rep. I had wanted to make sure that my monitor was off since it takes more power than the CPU. So what do I forget to shut off--the monitor of course. You can see that I don't handle stress well. But I guess that's true for most people, though not everybody gets stressed to the same degree.

But the "new" computer certainly could be the solution to a growing problem.


I don't know about the socks but the Christmas tree definitely is a German tradition that has been picked up in a lot of countries.

I've never bought myself socks with patterns or more than two colors, so its kind of different to have white ones with blue, burgundy and black(?) snowflakes. The others are completely patterned in stripes and in the same hues.

If you meant: where did the Christmas stocking tradition come from, I'm lost. One site says it was popularized by the Victorians but harkens back to the 16th C. Dutch. http://www.wyrdology.com/festivals/christmas/stockings.html

Julie Anne Long

Well, it's still bloody cold here (in the 40's), but the winds have calmed down. Across the bridge in Marin, a huge tree came down on the Historic Manka's Inverness Lodge, a beautiful old rustic lodge built in 1917, and the lodge burned to the ground. No one was injured, thankfully, but it's very sad. It was famed for amazing food and featured wonderful Arts and Crafts architecture and pieces, and it was just a gorgeous retreat. Prince Charles and Camilla stayed when they visited, quite a few celebrities (Robert Redford, Brad Pitt) as well as locals loved the place. Apparently Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie (the actor and actress) were there at the time. Anyway, so it was quite a storm. So. Cal got hit pretty hard, too. What a year for wild weather we're having.

GL with your slew of computers, Ranurgis! LOL. You're bound to get one of them up and running properly before 2007. :)

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