Daily Archives: December 19, 2007

Five Things

1. The scent of fresh pine in the house.

2. Making homemade bread.

3. Surprise money in the mail. (The gods provide.)

4. The MS currently printing out, in prep for submission. I love you, little YA novel. (Also: no printing foul-ups so far!)

5. Waking up at oh-gods o’clock last night to pull the notebook into bed and write the final scene of the Pandora book. (Now I just need to write the missing climax of the novel. Details, details…)

Following Up

The liquid brine was a success, but in a very different way than the dry-brining is. I’m going to adjust the recipe for less sugar and more salt.

The tree has settled into shape, and it’s lovely and full and the branches are remarkably well-angled up and away from the floor. Even the weight of our ornaments won’t pull them down, I think. It’s still undecorated; HRH and I will start it tonight, barring unforeseen circumstances. The boy keeps asking if we can bring it with us when we go out.

Christmas is next Tuesday. Ack! Even more of a surprise: Solstice is this Saturday. Ack to the power of two! Where did December go?

Revenge of the Argh: In Which She Gnashes About Traffic

Feel free to move along; I’m whinging. Most local people were probably affected by these same problems.

Liam and I spent a total of six hours in the car yesterday, most of it not going very fast at all. The only time we spent at home was the forty-five minute wind-down to a two-hour nap.

We wanted the car yesterday so that we could go visit the Preston-LeBlancs, and HRH had a reno job out in west Kirkland. So we drove him out, then drove back through traffic into the city for our (now-brief by necessity) visit, then went home for the nap (2-4 PM). Then, at 4:20, we left to go pick HRH up. What should have taken twenty minutes took an hour and fifteen minutes. And then it took three hours to get home. We pulled off and had cheeseburgers at 6:00, and it was a good plan, too, because if we’d waited till we got home at 8:20 PM Liam would have been ballistic. As it was, a half-hour off the road in Harvey’s was a huge adventure for Liam, and fun for us too as we watched him enjoy his first eat-in burger experience. And this ludicrous travel time was clocked taking the Lakeshore to avoid the horrifying traffic on the eastbound 20 that was backed up to the Dorval Circle.

We were at a loss to explain the traffic everywhere, in all directions. There was snow falling, sure, but it was nothing compared to what had fallen before. There were no obvious accidents; the roads were mostly clear-ish of snow and all lanes were open. (Although looking it up in the news, there were a couple of accidents that affected the eastern parts of the highway system, which may have affected the volume of traffic further west.) We kept as calm as possible; there was no point in blowing up. But we were tired, and achy, and bored, and irritated, and there was a two and a half year old in the back seat who couldn’t understand that we couldn’t just “ready, set, GO!” when he commanded us to, or why there was no more milk, or no more crackers, or why he couldn’t get out of the seat to curl up with someone. We pretended it was a relaxed drive to look at the Christmas lights along the river.

So, the plan for Thursday has been redacted: Liam and I are staying home instead of shopping, because otherwise we’d have to drop HRH off again and there’s no way we’re battling theoretical traffic there and back twice. This means HRH and I have to shoehorn everything in on Friday morning after dropping the boy at his grandma’s, and before HRH goes to the office holiday party. We’ve reassigned the essential gift-buying so that everything comes from two stores, which simplifies matters somewhat. I have a couple of little things for Liam tucked away in my office cupboard for rainy days, so those will be his gifts; with the things he’s getting from grandparents he’ll never know we didn’t get him something more substantial. He’s still young enough that we can get away with it.

I received an e-mail from the accounting staffperson I spoke with yesterday, confirming that my cheque had been written and sent out this morning. That was pleasant news. Depending on the volume of holiday mail I may even get it Friday, or Monday. And today’s mail yielded a surprise cheque from my dear grandmother, as well as a little parcel for Liam.

I hate being this behind on gifts and general Christmas preparation. I like to be done weeks before the insanity hits.