Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Merry Merry Christmas.... whimsical

After sending out so many handwritten cards to friends all over the world, I'm using this here to give you my thoughts on the spirit of Christmas, and a few images that I love best.

Anita sent me this today:

Christmas on Oxford Street.
Now I've only ever been in London in late spring, but I'd dearly love to go there during Christmas time, too.
I've written a longish chapter about my characters being there in December and diving into the busy shopping life and generally enjoying themselves (as some people clearly must, or they would not do it; I know I would love it, I don't mind happy crowds).
Anita, you are a sweet girl and a dear friend. Hopefully we'll meet, some day!

Lydia is going a little posting-crazy with images right now, too, so here's what she sent:

It reminds me a bit of the one guy from "Total Recall", right? But it would sure win Neil's "Ugly Sweater Contest", if that's what you were after, Blue! ;)
And she promised to make this for all of us: Hot chocolate with star-shaped marshmallows!!!

Tyler Massey, the sweetest US expatriate in the UK. A master tweeter, and a great musician, sends us this (is there a slight resemblance??)

Gail. She must be the sun of Scotland, she radiates so much warmth and love.
She captioned this pic "A selection of frozen chicken".

Also, I'm getting a lot of this these days. They make me feel VERY good, just the color of the cup alone is enough to make the spirits bright!

Right now, it is getting dark outside, at 4pm, the sky is very overcast and the temperature is dropping again. The snow did not melt completely yesterday, everything is still white outside, and I think we will have the White Christmas they promised us.
In all honesty I can't remember when we last had one.
There were lots of rainy holidays, and one was so warm we could take a walk in sweaters.
The guys just came home from the grocery shopping chore, loaded with goodies and treats - well, and some groceries - the tree is decorated and lighted, there are even a few presents under it already!
The candles on the Advent wreath will be exchanged one last time to be lighted tonight, and then, for tomorrow night, there will be a lot more, all in red, because it looks so cozy and warm.
In that, I'm a bit conservative.
Just yesterday there was a note about a German actress in the paper who has decorated her home in chocolate brown, dark purple and black for Christmas. I ask you, where's the light and glitter in that.

This here is The Bug and her siblings:

under the family Christmas Tree.
Don't need to say anything about the Bug, right? (Besides that she thinks I'm her "other" Mom now.... that makes me feel old!!!)

This just occurred to me: I love the tweets that say: "off to do a last minute errand", because it implies that people are indeed winding down for the holidays.
This is the best about this time of year: the quieting of the rush, the getting together of folks who have not seen each other in a while, the special care and love that is invested in decorating and cooking, and the evening spent wrapping gifts we have thought about, sought for and bought for our loved ones.
Oh, and this: sitting on the corner of the couch, waiting for the outcry from across the Ocean when someone who did not expect to get anything will receive that little parcel with the green customs sticker and shout out over twitter or facebook in surprise!!!

Oh, here's another one that Rachelle Gardner just posted:

There's little to add to this, is there? Can it get any better?

Here comes the Bunny, and she gives us a glimpse of her home for this season.
There's not a lot I have to say about the Bunny either, right? Just go back in the blog, and you'll meet her over and over again!

And here's the last twitter one: Kitty Christmas, from Kaffieann.

This funny pic of a Christmas Tree topped by antlers (?) comes from Lisa, who seriously needs her behind walloped one of these days for repeatedly putting herself down, when in fact she is one of the most compassionate, loving people I've ever met.

And of course, this would not be a proper Mariam blog without this pic:

A happy guy, with a lovely Christmas Tree!

I'm wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, my friends, and a very Happy New Year.
May you be safe and well and healthy and glad, and never alone.
Some of you I'll get to meet next year (one of you, even this year, if in the nick of time!).
Love you all!

This last, thanks to Michelle :)

A last minute update: Here is Marion's daughter, sharing a moment of quiet with her Mom:

And a happy guy at the San Francisco Zoo, via Candy:

And this, dear friends, is it!!! Merry Christmas, once again. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wishing You All.....

Friends like these:

The Bunny.

and the Bug.

The Bug is the cute little doll in the center, and don't you just know why she got that nickname?
I always wanted a very special doll when I was a kid, and she looked like this:

I never got one, because they are handmade and very expensive, and never were in my parents' budget. Now I know why, they are modeled after real kids (sic The Bug).
She still does look a bit like that, even though with her new, very short haircut, she does seem like a grownup.... sometimes.
The Bug is special.
Well, all my friends are special. They have to be, or they would not put up with me, I think.
But the Bug, she is extra special.
When I posted a week ago that we had bought pink champagne for New Year's Eve, she replied that she would really like to join us for that, and I said, "Then come on over! Do Come on!"
And she is. Doing it, I mean, coming over, all the way from Chicago, and only for a few days, but she is coming over. She'll be here in time for coffee on the 31st, and a lot of celebrating at night.
Guys, go out and buy the fireworks!!!!
Just imagine the scope: From Chicago to Hamburg, on the spur of the moment!
The cherry on top of this lovely cupcake of a visit: We'll be able to see this on New Year's Eve:

Yes, they are going to air the TV special of Neil's Hot August Night in NYC here in Germany!
It does seem as if The Bug and I have somehow come full circle: we met on the Diamondville Discussion Board in January 2008, and we'll "sing in" 2010 with the Vocalist and the Band, too.
And next summer, I'll be going there:

and there:

with The Bug.

The Bunny, now.

She makes these:

Muses, to inspire people, but the secret she does not seem to know is that she is the most important muse of all.
Sadly, it has never occurred to her to make one that looks like herself, because if she ever did, that one would have my name on it.
The Bunny, she is the one who drives me to write, for she really loves my story.
So if the whole thing never gets read by anyone else, and no one finds it interesting enough to publish, I know I will have written it for her, and that is quite enough for me.
And with the Bunny, I'll be here, because I'm visiting her, too:

There are many others, as you surely know by now: The Pea, Julie in Boston, and the Crook in DC, Keith in NYC and all the other Mimosas, and all of them are good friends and deserve a blog of their own.
But really: only Bunny and The Bug have presented me with pics this great so far!
I dare you: send me snapshots that are even half this funny, and you'll get your own blog, too!