Sunday, Jan. 03, 2010
Dear Diary:

How can you not love a holiday that allows you to put fake reindeer antlers on the epitome of evil?

I should not laugh at my cats, especially not the evil one.

But then, as I scanned through my camera's memory card, I realized the enormity of my blunder.

He is planning to kill me while I sleep.

If Mr. Evil's not planning to flat out kill me in my sleep, he's probably figuring out a slow, painful death for me. When oh when will I learn? You don't mess with Mr. Evil, you just don't.

It was a happy holiday. The spousal unit's been out of work for over a month now, so the gifting was low key from our end. We hosted two big extended family Christmas dinners, one on the 25th and the next on Boxing Day. Like all families, we have our differences, bickering and falling into snits. Seeing them around our table reminded me of how much I love them all, even if they do drive me mental from time to time.

The spousal unit and I had our usual tiff about the appropriate time to take down the Christmas tree. After some tough negotiation (aided by the fact that the tree dropped about 40 per cent of its needles on Dec. 31) Jan. 1 was agreed upon. If archaeologists one day find a petrified Christmas tree, I fully expect it to be one of ours.

We didn't put away all the season, though. We left all the lights up outside. In a climate such as ours, where January can be cold, dark and very snowy, it's nice to look out and see a glow, a reminder of the longer days to come.

The two foot snowfall they predicted for us this weekend ended up being only a foot of snow. Whew. That's still a big plenty, what with drifting and all, but it only took the spousal unit and I an hour or so to dig out�he did the porch roofs while I did the sundry paths that get us to the skidoo and the woodshed.

The land has taken on a curved, art deco sort of look now. All my stone walls and the new pond are just the merest curved outlines, small swirls in a world of white.

I am trying to gird my loins to go back to my gym come Monday. The only trainer I liked there is long gone. I haven't been able to re-create the community I had at my old gym, where I was surrounded by men and women who shared my search for strength. I didn't realize how much inspiration I drew from these people until they were gone.

It's much harder to do this alone. But I also know that if I don't do it, I can't continue my love affair with dirt, rocks and plants. Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to gym I must go.

Fortunately, someone shares my pain. The spousal unit used to scoff at me when I bemoaned my lack of training buddies, but he's learning the benefits of a training partner now big time. I have a slight shoulder injury, so I can't join him in resuming the push-up challenge right now. Without the mix of sharing and competition that a training partner brings, he's floundering.

I try not to smirk. Really. I do.

2010 is my last year in my 50's. I find that hard to believe, but there it is. I don't think I need a new resolution�my old one, to try to keep myself strong and healthy, is pretty much all I need. Everything flows out of that.

Happy 2010. Let's all stay strong and healthy.


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