1. I received a whole lot of wonderful ornaments and cards from blog friends this year:
It's from Andy Lean, a wonderful artist and blog friend who I met this year. Plus, I got all sorts of wonderful cards and goodies from friends in blogland. And, yeah, I still haven't sent out my cards (but I will this week!).
2. I'm binge watching The Good Wife and House of Cards on Netflix. Enjoying both immensely!
3. I'm reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich for my book group. Her first novel, Love Medicine, is one of my all time favorite books. This one is very different, but so far I like it.
4. I spent a glorious Saturday morning on the soccer pitch:
The Half Moon Bay High School soccer program traditionally holds its alumni game on Thanksgiving Weekend. This year, they decided to hold an alumni 8v8 tournament. Henry and several recent graduates formed the team that eventually won the tournament. It was so much fun to reconnect with these young men and see what they have been up to.
5. Here's a great recipe I enjoyed at my brother's house (quinoa salad, served warm or cold):
saute onion in olive oil; add one cup of quinoa and two cups of vegetable broth; simmer until all liquid is absorbed; drain and rinse one can of black beans, once can of corn and one can of chopped tomatoes; when quinoa is cooked, toss in beans, corn and tomatoes. Season with lemon pepper.
6. While in Southern California, Clara went on her first college tour with my brother who works there:
She really liked the campus (which made me happy). Clara is interested in studying animal behavior and Cal Poly Pomona has a good agriculture dept. where she could do just that. Other good schools with agriculture departments are Oregon State, Chico State and U.C. Davis. A few schools have animal studies programs which are actually even better suited to what she wants to do. Those schools include the University of Redlands in Southern California; St. Joseph's outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wheaton in Massachusetts, and Canisius in Buffalo, New York. It's still a long way until she needs to apply, but it's fun to start thinking about it! She does not want to be a Veterinarian (a decision that became even clearer to her after she did a Vet shadow program this week).
7. Paul and Clara are working on constructing a chicken yard out back. So far it involves a lot of digging. Clara's decided to get pullets, instead of chicks, and they will be available mid-January. They should have a nice fenced yard (around the coop) by then.
8. I got all dressed up to go to Christmas Tea with friends
I took this selfie before heading out. It occurred to me that there is a big difference between Going to Tea (which is what we do in the United States) and having tea (which is what we do in the U.K.). The former is fancier and rarer. The latter is an everyday occurrence. In the U.S., we treat grabbing a cup of coffee much more the way that Europeans treat having tea.
9. My bad luck streak trying to win at the annual cookie exchange party continues. The theme this year was college spirit, and I thought I had a winning entry:
Until I got there and saw this:
Sigh. Someday I'll win!
10. My favorite Christmas present this year was a fitbit! I love being able to track my steps every day. I've logged 10,000 steps most days (or gotten close). I found out that I climb lots of stair flights each day, too!