Dear Diary:

Christmas 2000 will go down as the Cookierama because at the end of a long day of pigging out, Paul's mother handed each of us an empty cookie tin and then proceeded to bring 85 dozen cookies out into the livingroom as the family's final gift from her.

Just a small corner of the cookierama.  It's hard to believe Paul's mom is in her late 70's.  The woman has insane amounts of energy. Yes, no need to adjust your screen or reboot your computer--you read the number right, 85 dozen. There were shortbreads, rum balls, chocolate and butterscotch drops, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, macaroons, date porcupines, joe froggers (a kind of chewy gingersnap cookie that is to die for) and three or four other kinds of cookies which were vaccuumed up by the kids before I got to them.

Darn those kids and their supernaturally fast reflexes!

Normally, seeing that much unfettered sugary goodness in one room would have started a family feeding frenzy of which any Aussie shark would be proud. But we had eaten ourselves into severe turkey stupours, so it was all relatively civilized. No quick trips to the hospital emergency ward were necessary at all. I'm very proud of us all, eh.

Paul's mom making a final check of the buffet.  That's our salmon, samosas and rebaked potatoes closest to the front of the picture. Christmas is a potluck of sorts. Norma, Paul's mom, does the turkey, and everyone else brings in three or four other dishes. I donated the delicious smoked salmon a friend had given me for Christmas; Jess, her sweetie and I made our usual rebaked potatoes. We also made something we knew no one else in the family would have tried--samosas, a deep-fried Indian turnover that is stuffed with a well spiced mix of mashed potatoes, green peas and carrots.

They were a hit.

We are trying to be humble about this, eh.


We are.

Okay. Before this goes any further I might as well admit yet another ugly truth about myself.

I am one of those middle-aged women who collects cat figurines.

Oh be quiet.

So Paul always gives me an odd cat figurine for Christmas. This year's is a wonderfully kitschy mommy cat (that's about a foot high) holding the paw of a kitten. The person who carved it caught exactly the way tiny cranky kids look when they're reaching up high to catch their mom's hand. It cracks me up big time.

For the last few years he's also been declaring his um undying devotion with cement objects for my garden--gargoyles, and even an art deco type bird bath.

Some guys say it with liquor, chocolate, jewelry, or fancy lingerie ... my spousal unit says it with .:cough:. cement .:cough:., which--sadly--has been absolutely perfect for me.


Only this summer we went on the Tour des Arts, a tour of all the artists' studios around here, and I fell in love with some ceramic sculptures by Maya Lightbody. So after much dithering between a wonderful garden goddess covered with little blue birds and a goofy dragon ... Paul bought me the dragon on the understanding it was my Christmas present.

I immediately made him build a platform for it in our pond, and it spent the summer emerging ominously from the water, which ticked the spousal unit off because it was SUPPOSED to be put away for Christmas.

Um, some of us suffer from maturity deficit disorder and cannot do adult things such as put presents away, eh.

We won't be naming any names, here, of course.

So fast forward to Christmas morning. There is a large box with my name on it and I assume that it's my beloved dragon, who has been christened Puffdraggy, The Rap Dragon. Only when I start digging in the styrofoam chips, it's NOT Puffdraggy, it's:

Garden goddess covered with little blue birds and my goofy kitty mom and kid figurine.  Every time I look at the kitties I laugh because somehow the person who carved it got the way it looks when a mom holds a small kid's hand perfectly right, you know?

The garden goddess and the birdies.

My eyes welled up because I had really wanted her, but felt is was more money than I could justify spending on something that isn't at all practical, something that you own simply because it makes you happy to look at it.

Zubby grabbing badly needed Christmas zzzzzz's. I know that in one way this was a hard gift for him to give. Neither of us grew up in families with much money, and we aren't exactly rolling in loot ourselves. It's been a stretch sometimes to cover the practical stuff, and we have to budget carefully for luxuries.

But my spousal unit, the most practical of men, gave me the most impractical of gifts anyhow.

Oh, and I'm not the only person that likes my lady of the birds. As you can see, Zubby thinks the box it came in is the coolest Christmas present of all, and just the place to grab a cat nap, eh.


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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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