in case you are really interested, i did a bit of a holiday update while we were in mexico. i have more to go. your life will not be complete until you hear the rest of the story of our trip, which will include the “i fought the cactus & the cactus won” routine.
I worked on Christmas Eve. Well, I was physically present there. I probably didn�t get as much done as I should have. Then again, I knew that I would have two days of the next week to finish my projects. I went home about an hour early to relax and prepare for dinner at our friend Sue�s house. Dinner was fabulous; there was a ton of food including ham and a smoked turkey. Afterwards, we opened presents. Sue got several items that she wanted and she smiled, yelled, and even jumped up and down. I was highly entertained. smile Let me tell you, though, that I�ve never seen so many presents before. J, the munchkin, and I each gave and received a couple of gifts. Since Peter, Sue�s husband, is getting ready to leave for an extended period, they gave a lot of gifts to each other and Sue�s son. Including some they bought last year that they�d put away and forgotten about. But to be fair, Sue�s best friend and friend�s mother were there and had brought along gifts as well. It was still a lot of gifts. Christmas morning we slept in, having been up until almost midnight the night before. We called the munchkin into our room and had her open her presents there. It wasn�t a huge Christmas, as we tried to keep to somewhat of a budget. But we tried to put some thought into her gifts and I think we did okay. She seemed very pleased with everything we got her: Ugg-like boots, some Body Shop foot care schtuff, a Japanese calligraphy set that J�s had for a while (intending to give it to her someday), and an mp3 player. It wasn�t anything terribly fancy. We got something slightly rugged with expandable memory so she can add more songs. A bit later in the morning, I decided to load some songs for her from my laptop. It was so easy to do; we didn�t even have to install software. I am disappointed though that songs I bought directly from iTunes wouldn�t transfer over. I guess that�s how they try to get you to buy an iPod. We spent the rest of the morning relaxing. That afternoon J & I went over to a dear friend�s house while munchkin went on to her mother�s. We usually have Christmas dinner at this dear friend�s house. His family is our family and they are wonderful people. We had dinner and then another gift exchange (much smaller this time. hee!). After everyone had left, we stayed and watched the Hawai�i Bowl. It was a very good game, only to be marred by a fight after the end of three overtimes. Overall, Christmas day was quite enjoyable. It was just the respite that we needed. I took a vacation day for New Year�s Eve. We normally have it off, but with the way the holiday fell, we had Friday off instead. I went to the bookstore and picked up some books on novel writing and fiction. As I briefly mentioned, I have an idea floating in my head that is going to keep bugging me until I get it on paper. Whether or not it ever goes to a publisher or is even saleable is beside the point. I have to do it, or I won�t get any rest until I do. I�m learning a lot and really enjoying it. So, I�ll go with it and see where it takes me, enjoying the journey along the way. Learning is one journey I try never to shy away from. I�m typing this in Mexico right now. Since I�m offline, I can�t do my year in review yet. That will have to wait. But I�ll see what I can pull from my calendar and journal in the meantime. I�m sitting in the casa. There�s a fire in the stove, so I hear the crackling of the wood and smell a bit of the acrid smoke. There�s usually a slight smell of propane when the lights are lit. The wind is roaring outside and I can see whitecaps out in the ocean; looks like a rough day on the water. I can hear the waves crash on the lava rock, along with an occasional bird chirp and boat horn. The sky is very clear with a few stray clouds along the horizon; the bright sun makes the water a dark blue-gray. The wind is just loud enough that it mostly drowns out the traffic up on the highway � unless a big truck roars by, kicking into high gear as they run down the hill. My companions are out fishing with a friend. I opted to stay here and relax and work on my reading and writing. I think it�s been a productive day, but now I�m ready for them to return. They left at 8:30 and it�s 4:45 now. I could go somewhere, but I prefer not to take off by myself in unfamiliar territory. We�re all supposed to go out to dinner tonight, so I�m assuming they�ll be back soon. If any of them is wearing a watch today. We are in Mexico, after all. Time slows down here. There are no deadlines, no reasons to hurry. Heck, this is the first time I�ve even brought a computer down here. Of course, it�s the first time I�ve been here since I got my laptop, but the point is you don�t really need it. I usually write in longhand. I would sit on the deck and write, but that wind is cold and biting right now. It goes right through you. So I sit here where I can see mostly the same view, out of the wind and chill. Some of the clouds are gathering on the horizon in preparation for sunset. A pinkish-orange is appearing. It�s going to be magnificent. Update: the sky has turned a light teal with streaks of orange, alternated with the slate gray of the clouds. Today is Saturday. I have one more (partial) day here. Then we�ll get ready for work on Monday and life will resume its normal pattern. And we will count the days until we get a chance to return to this haven that our friend is kind enough to share with us. In the meantime, I�m trying not to be impatient. But I will be seriously annoyed if they�ve gone off & done other things in Ensenada without me. While I didn�t want to freeze while fishing, I would have been happy to go other places with them. I guess I should have clarified that they were only going fishing. Yeah, I hate to be left out. One of my weaknesses, at times. But I am digging this sunset. I went out and took a few pictures with my film camera. I didn�t bring the digital because I need to charge the batteries.