You might remember that I wrote about a new editorial job here. Yes, I like it. I like it a lot. The first few weeks my brain hurt at the end of every day. I told the Mister it was like waking up and going to an office and doing the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle every day. Challenging. Enriching. But, difficult. The option to quit puzzling or set it aside was not forthcoming. New day, new puzzle.

My writing background is mostly print. I remember walking with what were then called "bluelines" to a department called typesetting. And this was when I worked for a very young, hip company. I don't think I owned a computer until I was 38, maybe. Today I work with people who have never not owned a computer; people who think in html. People who think email is archaic. You don't even want to know what they think about newspapers. I mean, and as Dave Barry would say I am not making this up, the woman across the hall from me has a poster of Justin Bieber on her door. And, I think Justin Bieber himself may have the office next to her, or maybe it's just someone who looks like him. That's probably it. I digress. Listening to State of Trance radio will do that to you; it will also make you stay on task, apparently.


I started November 1. Just before Thanksgiving I was asked if I'd be interested in taking on an additional project. Honestly, how could I say no? I mean, for one thing, I was new. New employees don't turn down projects. Secondly, it meant more money. Again, not really something people turn down. Finally, it was promised to be "quick turnaround." Silly, silly me. You see, I had forgotten that "quick turnaround," which sounds like it means "short and sweet" actually translates to "crushing deadline." It means late nights, early mornings, staying in when you want to go out. It means my family says things like "Spaghetti again?" and I say things like "Look in the dryer!"


But, kids, I'm here to tell you. I. made. it. I made it! With 18 hours to spare! And tomorrow the Mister and I are meeting some friends in the mountains.


And there will be this,


and this,

 and this.

 And even this.


And there will be no internet, and I will not succumb to the 3G sirens.

Then, when I return, I plan to focus some attention on this little blogging outlet of mine, and I would love to know what you'd like to hear more about. Would you do that favor for me?

Paper or plastic?

I guess I'm what is known as a "late adapter."

I got this for Christmas. And I love it.


















I really do. Epicurious. Urban Spoon. Gratitude. Pinterest. All at my fingertips. Not to mention news, weather, grades, music. I re-watched the last episode of Downton Abbey while Little had her piano lesson. How could you not love that?

But, a couple of years ago I got this for Christmas.

And I love it, too. In fact, I just like saying Filofax, although I don't really say it out loud ever. Today I finally got around to buying my 2012 calendar re-fill. I can't wait to take a black Uniball micro pen to that creamy, thick paper.

I've been known to sketch a floorplan or an outfit or a desktop arrangement on that lined paper.

But, of course, I'll never watch Downton Abbey on it.

Paper or plastic? I say it's not either-or. For me, it's both-and. What about you?

On the tenth day of Christmas . . .

Oh, I know what some of you are thinking!  Christmas? Please!  That’s so 2011.  Yes, I know it’s a new year, and the blogging world has in large part moved onto goals and resolutions and organizational tips.  After all, most everyone is back to work or back to school.  Me, I’m just coming up for air after working hard to meet several work deadlines that relentlessly came just before and after Christmas Day.  Still, we managed to have a wonderful holiday, and although the decorations are packed and the thank-you notes are in the mail, we’re still celebrating and looking forward to a fabulous Twelfth Night party on January 6th.  I’m sure I’ll post about that, but in the meantime, here’s a look at our holiday.

We spent the weekend before Christmas in sunny Florida, where the Mister, Middle, and Niece 3 enjoyed a nip of nog in the Mister’s parents’ log house. (Yes, the Mister’s wearing mouse ears. No, the eggnog wasn’t spiked.)

joe! 002

joe! 009The Mister’s handsome dad enjoyed a nip of something else as we waited to see the beautiful Candlelight Processional at Epcot in Walt Disney World.  Chita-RiveraThe night we attended Broadway legend Chita Rivera read the story of the birth of Christ, and she was wonderful.  wdw_epcot_candlelightprocessionalThe cast member and guest choirs joined with the Voices of Liberty to present the story in hymns and sacred carols with superb orchestral accompaniment.  Attending “Candlelight” was an annual tradition when we lived in central Florida, and we were so happy to be able to return, taking the Mister’s folks for a couple of days in the park.joe! 031

Little was pleased to see that she had the same size handprint as one of her favorite actresses.joe! 032Middle was relieved to see that at least one other being on the planet has a larger foot than he does! joe! 035Seems like old times—Big, Middle, and Little together at Disney. joe! 037This was as close as I got to antiquing on this trip, which—let me tell you—was not very close!  Still, I was grateful not to be stuck in our hotel room at Riverside, writing and editing like a fiend.joe! 048  Once home, we made cookies for Santa.joe! 053

We went to church on Christmas Eve. joe! 054 And these three little cherubs read the Gospel story of the birth of Jesus.  The church was packed—maybe about 1,200 worshippers—but no one seemed nervous reading.joe! 062We wrapped presents, although some of them may not have been tagged.  joe! 063Personally, I think it adds to the excitement as everyone waits on me to remember whose gift is whose.joe! 070

Our tradition has always been that the children wait at the top of the stairs until they hear the sleigh bells ring.  Then they can come downstairs and open their stockings.  This gives the Mister and me a chance to make the coffee, light the tree and the fire, put the breakfast treats in the oven, and make sure we have a camera handy.  This year my dad joined them in their stair top waiting.

joe! 071 Stockings hold Clementines, chocolate, and generally some pretty good stuff. (Middle is not mad; he’s just determined to intentionally ruin every picture I take.  He’s pretty good at it, too)

joe! 073 In fact, this may be the best shot I got of him this year!joe! 074We don’t dress on Christmas morning, although this picture makes me want to ask Santa for a little turkey neck tuck.  And all that plaid—yikes!

joe! 081 Clearly, we had a little clean-up to do, but for once, I did not immediately turn into sergeant-martyr mom, and just let things be.  For a bit.joe! 082Sausage egg casserole, biscuits, and sectioned citrus were pretty tasty.  We always do crackers at Christmas breakfast.  (See how beautifully Middle is ruining this picture?)

We had a fabulous Christmas dinner, if I do say so myself—rib roast, creamed spinach, roasted grape tomatoes, and garlic mashed potatoes.  I didn’t take any pictures until I served dessert, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

joe! 084 A few hours after dinner, we somehow managed to roll ourselves to our dear friends the R’s home for another dessert!  It’s our Christmas tradition to visit their beautiful home on Christmas night, and it is always great fun.joe! 086 This year their lovely daughter remembered when she was taller than both her pals—but not any more.  And for dessert?

joe! 085

She just whipped up some Grand Marnier creme brulee.

And that’s how we celebrated Christmas Day.

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