Word for the day: Enlightenment

Verb. Def: The act of stuffing random strings of cheap Christmas lights into the belly and down the limbs of defective, tacky, holiday animals in an effort to resurrect them.

If I could have shot this moose, ala Palin, I would have. But we don’t have guns.

I barely deserve your attention, given my total lack of attention to either my blog or yours. Sorry about that. I’m busy with the holidays just like you, traveling back and forth between snowy mountain house and Florida, getting ready for a visit from our first grandchild, teaching felt classes, getting out holiday orders and trying to launch my website. (If the “webmaster” finds out I’m doing this post instead of uploading descriptions, blog posts related to felt and inventory photos, I’m in trouble…). On top of all of that, I have something on my mind. (Ha! A Pun. Fill you in later.)

Anyway, I’m in Florida this weekend but the whole reason I chose to stay in Asheville for this season was so I could see a beautiful fresh snow all the way to Tennessee. Rich is down here, working and playing ball with his “Boys of Winter” league and I’ve been missing some perfectly good nooky companionship in order to watch the seasons change. No sooner did I get on the plane on Friday than did it start snowing. Now, my neighbors report they are snowed in on the mountain with a beautiful blanket of fresh wet white stuff. They are all good people and have been busy checking in on the Sophie Cat and watering the tree. It looks as though I’ll have trouble flying home tomorrow afternoon and if I do get into Asheville I’ll have to play find-ur-car among the other snow-covered vehicles in the long-term parking lot. Then, because the temps are dropping I’ll have to scrape forever, in inadequate clothing and then I won’t be able to make it up to the house. Ah, me.

So, several things on the agenda for this weekend. Misha graduated. Amazing. Abby marries this Russian immigrant, much to my shock and horror and he turns out to be the world’s most admirable fellow and they continue to be madly (I mean giggly, laughing, supportively, affectionately, hotly, madly) in love. He’s studied hard, with English as his second language and worked 40 plus hours a week outside of school and finished his degree in business. We’ve grown to love him, too and we are very proud of him. Today-Sunday-is the day he would have attended graduation ceremonies but instead they packed up the car and headed back to Durham where Abby has finished her first semester as a doctoral student at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. They were very excited to get back under one roof, with their Chicago rescue cat, Grey. 

(Abby and Misha, literally on top of the world on Mt. Elbrus in Russia one year ago. They continue on so.)

I also wanted to get the token tacky holiday yard art up for the season, because this is, after all, Florida. Damn those Chinese! Not only are they plotting to be  the smartest people on the planet; they also wreak havoc with this nation’s emotional stability by fuckin’ up the cheap Christmas lights we buy by the bazillions. And you know, there are two types of people: those who, when confronted with half a dead string of lights, throw them out and run to Walmart and those who sit on the ground poking and pulling at every single damned light bulb trying to fix the fuckin’ mess. And then move on to the effin fuses. Guess which group I fall into? I also do poorly on standardized tests. Dammit. Okay, enough profanity about the lights and I kept it all in one paragraph.

So the moose was a mess and the polar bears need to be in rehab as paraplegics and the penguin keeps blowing over, but the menagerie is up. This involved, as noted above, a lot of cursing, two people and a furious stuffing of surplus lights into various body cavities that had necrosis from previous years. One moose, two polar bears, 3 geese, a penguin, a frog, an alligator, and a partridge in a palm tree. And a couple of random Charlie Brown strings of lights never pulled off the Norfolk Pine for the past three years, blown every which way. Looks positively festive and bright. If I win the lottery before Dec. 26 I’m going to buy every wonderful 3-D holiday light creature on sale anywhere, the day after Christmas. Then I’ll be ready for next year.

(Everything looks better in the morning. Rich took this with his cell phone, no less. My camera is acting up. I want Julie Zickefoose’s camera for Christmas.)

Last night Rich and I went to the movies so we could spend some time holding hands in the dark. We watched Unstoppable. What stupid fun. I loved it. Afterward, we were walking across the Baywalk shopping area and came upon two of St. Petersburg’s finest. Splendid, splendid gorgeous black Percheron horses who came from the Boston police department, we were most impressed with their uniforms. They get their own special detailing including reflective gear, shiny badges in the middle of their broad chests and special protective shoes that allow them to walk on crushed glass without harm. I pet one and I’m telling you, his coat was SO soft. The officer riding him said he had his “winter coat” and I believed that because so does Sophie and they feel equally luxurious. All about the animal fiber, you know.

(Ridiculous, I know. But I just had my cell phone and I was trying to capture how incredibly black they were with bright shiny regalia. Shoes! They wear shoes that come up to their shins!)

What else? Oh! I needed to visit Boyd Hill and say hello to our new juvenile Bald Eagle, Abiaka. What a handsome fellow! He was born late 2009 and fell out of his nest as a baby last March. Sadly, he was injured to the point that he can’t live free so he will live with out this life with us, educating others and getting a great daily diet, alway a whole red snapper on Fridays (bet you didn’t know Eagles were Catholic.). Rumor has it that Abi has the spunky disposition of a teenager and he loves nothing more than to pull the plug on his bathing pool. Which, of course, leaves him high and dry until someone checks in on him some hours later. Fine now, while it’s cool but he might want to leave well enough alone once things heat up here next Spring. Eagles do love their water. As soon as I got to the park there was a fierce down-pouring of rain and Abi seemed positively delighted, prancing about with wings spread and calling out.

(Abi, enjoying the rain. He has a partial bamboo screen so he can decide how much time he wants to spend in the public eye as he gets acclimated to life as a program raptor.)

Anyway, with all this traveling back and forth, I ought to have my head examined. Guess I’ll tell you about that next time. Also, it IS the Third Sunday of Advent and yes, Bonnie, I have my purple candles, this year beeswax from our local farm market, and that means it’s about time for Buckminster Fuller to put in an appearance. I’m working on a second chapter. Cheers!

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10 responses to “Word for the day: Enlightenment

  1. NO guns?
    What the hell?

    Everytime I read one of your catch up posts I am breathless at the end!
    You are like an electron zinging around your nuclear family.

    I do love your posts though.

  2. I love that you used the F word.
    🙂
    And Abi is beautiful….thanks for showing him to us. What I wouldn’t GIVE to have an eagle to use!!

  3. I like reading the undercurrent of joy that moves through this post. It buzzes with a connectivity to a well of happiness.

  4. No guns here either – YAY! Otherwise, mr. kenju would have been dead years ago and I’d be in jail. Hmmmmm….I wonder if I could get hired on as a trustee at the Governor’s Mansion? A cushy job with good food!

    And Misha? I AM VERY IMPRESSED!! People who come here with little English language skills and manage to graduate from a good school are amazing to me, as I am convinced I could never have done it in any foreign country. Way to go, congratulations and best wishes to you and Abby! I look forward to meeting you both some day.

    Vicki, if you do get stranded at the airport and can’t get home, you are always welcome to head east and come here. There is a bedroom with your name on it – anytime. I can’t brag about the food you’d get here – but I know some great restaurants….LOL

  5. Laughed at the moose, loved the horses (although I would really have loved a better picture :P), awed by the photo of Abi’s raindrop studded feathers. And tired out by your adventures. Very, very tired but oh-so-entertained.

  6. The penguin keeps falling over? Hmm.

    Congrats to Misha. I love a good success story.

  7. Congrats to Misha (and to Abby who will finally have him home with her again). I’m going to have to go to Baywalk if it means getting to see the horses!

    So, why exactly did you decorate your house since you won’t be there for Christmas?

    Maya Angelou said you really get to know a person when you see how they deal with a rainy day, tangled Christmas lights and lost luggage. You had a rainy day and tangled lights today. Hope you don’t have lost luggage tomorrow!

    I am with the group who would have headed to Wal-Mart and shoved the tangles in the trash, I am afraid. But, then, I’ve been decorating a steam engine so I have no patience left for decorations.

  8. This seems to be the year for obstinate lights…. blowing up window candles…. and I would be the one checking all of them… and the fuses and then putting the fuse in the fancy light checker/fixer the wrong way and messing it up so it does not check lights or fuses any more. And after a marathon weekend of cookie baking and potica bread making and cleaning out the hot tub in the rain because it was the only day above 40 in a week and well, I had to do it because two frogs took up residence this fall and I just couldn’t get in without cleaning it. Anyway.. after 5 potica breads came out great… I either forgot to put in the yeast or the yeast was bad…. I think it was the former. Sigh. I am going to bed now.

  9. Can’t wait to see pictures of the grandchild!

  10. Wonderful to read about Abby and Misha. And Abi. And you holding hands in the dark with Rich. And yes, I am also exhausted and exhilarated when I get to the end of one of your posts. But so very happy to hear from you.

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