One book leads to another...

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Let's Not Try...

Happy New Year!

Have you put away the holiday decorations yet? Around here, there’s always at least one thing that gets forgotten in the clean-up that ends up spending the entire year by its lonesome self on a shelf inside the coat closet. This year, there were two items overlooked by Mr. Fastidious (he was in charge this year, and much more thorough than I am). First, I noticed my neighbor’s door wreath as I looked through the circle of my own. Then, I pondered how long both wreaths might remain on display as I savored a piece of chocolate I’d chosen from a wicker Santa bowl, still on my dining room table. Not bad, I’d say, considering the number of remnants we’re likely to find around the yard after an Easter Egg Hunt.

Honestly, I’m not a whip-cracker.  See, I’ve been relegated to the proverbial ‘observation deck’ since mid-December when I discovered coffee doesn’t exactly enable me to leap tall buildings, as evidenced that fateful morning I tripped over a measly step stool and broke my shoulder. They should have named me Grace. Nevertheless, this new and thankfully temporary vantage point has afforded an extraordinary perspective on holiday celebrations.

Did you tear up the town or block out the sound of New Year celebrations? I don’t think I’ve stayed up until midnight since Y2K. We were, however, awakened not long after the Old Pueblo’s first annual “Taco Drop” this year by one of our dogs barking at her own reflection in a window through which fireworks would have no doubt bedazzled her a couple of hours earlier.

Most years, I look forward to local and national recaps of the preceding year as they invariably jog some potent memory wherein the best creative juices flow.  Curiously, there seems an apparent reluctance or ambivalence in recall, for very few sources deem last year at all notable,  focusing instead on a decade of years already reviewed after each one ended. I, for one, was paying attention.

For instance, something made an historic landing on the far side of the moon (Hint: it wasn’t Pink Floyd).  A single infamous summer made headlines for the 50th time. A few refreshing new trends have emerged in the discarding of live/cut Christmas trees. One is the placement of them, devoid of tinsel, lights, and ornaments, of course, in lakes and waterways, providing shelter for young marine life. The other, an original form of repurposing by a veteran and true American Sunbeam, (and of special interest to me of late - ha!) is the creation of handcrafted canes and walking sticks.

I didn’t get around to making plans for the New Year before I was sidelined (so to speak), but I have a list of writing projects waiting patiently in the wings for my most anxious return. How about you? Did you make any resolutions you’d be willing to shake on?

Throughout history, handshakes generally acknowledged mutual agreement to a promise or a deal or perhaps greeting a new friend. Shakespeare apparently had yet another reason in mind when he wrote (Iliad) in reference to the settlement of a conflict “Let’s not try to kill each other” Clever placement of words, wouldn’t you say?

Happy Writing!


  1. Hi, diedre!

    I am awfully sorry to learn that you broke your shoulder, dear friend. The timing couldn't have been worse with the holidays upon you. I hope by now you are well on your way to a complete recovery.

    I appreciate those ideas for disposing of Christmas trees. Mrs. Shady and I did very little celebrating during the holiday season. We are moving across the state three weeks from now and for the last couple of months we have been loading our car and driving bunches of stuff to the new location to ease the cost of hiring professional movers. The only decorations around our current residence were stacks of cartons packed with belongings. We didn't stay up to watch the ball drop at Times Square. I used to regard it as an important NYE tradition, but getting a good night's sleep and arising at my usual 5 am the next morning has become more important in recent years.

    Mrs. Shady and I are heading out the door again this morning to transfer more goods to our destination across the state and to take a visiting family member to the airport for his return flight to San Diego. I will therefore be breaking away from blogging for the next two days and for a period of three weeks later in the month during the major part of the move.

    I wish you healing and health and many blessings in the coming year, my very good friend diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Seems like it wasn't long ago that you moved to the place you're now leaving behind. May every coming day be everything you seek. Are you closer to, or further from the ocean?
      Thanks for the wishes, my friend. I'm swearing off step stools from here on out ;-)

    2. Hi, diedre!

      I just came in off the road a short while ago after another tiring day of travel. As Mrs. Shady and I have been doing for months, we crisscrossed the state again today and the traffic was very heavy.

      Yessum, this is our third move in the last five years. I'm about over it. :) To answer your question, we are moving back to the center of the peninsula, halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It's only a 90 minute drive to either coast.

      I wish you mending and healing in the days and week ahead, dear friend diedre. I'll be thinking about you!

  2. Happy New Year, diedre! πŸ₯‚ Ouch! A broken shoulder must be incredibly painful. I hope you've been healing well. At least, it gave you a good reason to take it easy over the holidays. We put everything away on Sunday, except for a few scattered bowls of Christmas potpourri, which I keep around because they smell so nice. January is always our time to try and shed the weight gained over the holidays.πŸ˜† Those are excellent ideas for Christmas tree recycling! We have similar programs, here. For us, New Year's Eve is a social occasion and we stay up well past midnight. Lately, it's only been quiet dinners out, then home to the TV for the actual countdown. (Don't want to leave the dogs alone too long.) And yes, let's not try to kill each other. πŸ‘‹

    1. Happy New Year, Debbie!

      The pain is surprisingly not as bad as one would expect. Seems each day brings more mobility. Good for keeping the spirits up ;-) I love the potpourri idea.
      I'll be by to visit soon!

    2. I'm glad the pain hasn't been too bad and that you're making progress. πŸ‘Œ

  3. We never go anywhere New Year's Eve - we stay at home. Somehow we still manage to stay awake to midnight.
    Sorry about the broken shoulder!
    I think this was the first year we didn't miss a Christmas item when packing.

    1. Hi Alex!

      Home is always a safer place to be. We couldn't see the Taco Drop, but the city lights are festive all year round ;-)

  4. I still have not taken down my live cut tree or the Christmas decorations. Everyone says it is too depressing to do it so usually I have to do it by myself. I'm hoping I've shamed my husband and children into helping out this Saturday.

    So sorry to hear about your shoulder. Nuts! My husband had some shoulder surgery in October and is still out of work. We usually play board games--remember them?--on New Year's Eve, then watch the ball drop and go to bed. Exciting, no?

    I think this is my first time here. I'll follow your blog and connect with you online. All best in 2020. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

    1. Hi Victoria!

      Nice to make your acquaintance.

      Board games are a terrific way to pass the time - not to mention fun!

      I've opted out of surgery for the time being with the thought that I've survived worse. And besides, I gave up backyard cartwheels a decade ago ;-)

      Good luck with Saturday recruits! I find it's less depressing without Christmas music while you're packing everything away.
      As avid campers,do you celebrate Christmas in July?
      The best to you and yours this year!

  5. This reminds me that we still have our tree up as well as a few other Christmas items. Some we leave up all the time, but the rest will have to be put away. We're in no hurry though--we'll get to it next week probably.

    We had a dinner for some family members on New Year's Eve Day and then unceremoniously went to bed at about 10 PM to the sound of occasional fireworks being lit off in the nearby neighborhoods. Then, New Year's Day my wife and I just stayed indoors by ourselves watching TV and napping. We did the same on Christmas Day. It was a grand time as far as I was concerned and my wife seemed pretty content as well.

    Have an outstanding 2020!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Lee!

      You stayed up later than I did! Seems like we were colder than most places only on the days we most wanted to be outdoors, so we also watched a lot of TV, including movies.

      Wishing you a year of pleasant surprises!

  6. Hokey-Smoke, am I ever late getting here! Sorry 'bout that, dIEDRE! It's been a very cluttered last 3 weeks, what with my Brother visiting from Phoenix for Christmas, and me starting and trying to learn a new job.

    I realize now that when I was axing you to spill the beans about the sling, you'd already done so at your own spot in the Blogosphere. Uhp! I'm an idiot!!

    I sure hope you mend lickity-splitly and can get back to all the normal dIEDRE activities soon. Amazingly, I have never broken a bone, but my Brother has broken enough of his own to cover for me.

    Actually, by design, I always leave a couple of Christmas-related items out all year. Somehow, I like the idea of Christmas not going away *completely*. I feel we should always have a little 'Christmas' around us during the year.

    And I'm with you on the New Year's Eve bit: I think Y2K was also the last time my eyelids were still in the "up" position when midnight struck. New Year's Eve doesn't have the same magic after one has experienced about 60 of them. Ho-Hum. But I sure was glad to see 2019 get the boot. May the likes of it never be seen again! (Or to put it more bluntly, I said to 2019: "P*ss off!!")

    I hope your 2020 is top-notch and more fun than a barrel full of monkeys! (Don't get me started on the correct spelling of the plural of "monkey". English makes me mad!) ;^D

    ~ D-FensDogG

  7. Howdy Stephen T!

    Good to hear your brother visited for Christmas. It's one holiday that is just no fun alone. Did it snow? Can you believe that just for the day AZ was colder than most east coast areas?

    May the new job become easier and ever more interesting as we settle into what surely will be a happier year for all ;-)

    See ya at BOTBS!

    1. dIEDRE ~
      We really lucked out. There is only a small, private airport in Carson City, so my Brother had to fly in and out of the airport in Reno. I was really concerned that I might not be able to get to Reno on the dates I needed to. It's only a 30-mile drive, but the area in between the two cities can get dumped on pretty seriously. But, thank God, I had no trouble picking up Nappy and dropping him off again a week later.

      I think you must be referring to January 4th. Nappy texted me about that and wrote: "Your high today is only 10 degrees cooler than ours. The lows are only 7 degrees off." That was amazing! Weird weather!!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...'

  8. Hi, Deirdre! Nice to meet you. Thanks so much for visiting my little blog today - I always love meeting new bloggers. I feel like I really failed in 2019. It was a rough year in so many ways, but also plenty of good came of it. I was going to blog about my year, and the decade, and then work and the holidays got the better of me and in the end I opted for self-care in the form of reading, cleaning, and watching tv rather than digging ten years back. I wish I had been able to, but the past is still there, and I can always post about memories when I need to.

    I bet the Sonoran Desert is beautiful! I lived in the Mojave for a few years, and I miss the place now.


    1. Hi Kim!

      Sometimes a month is not enough and you have to burn the whole calendar to properly ring in a new and better year ;-) Sounds like you have that covered. I look forward to your posts.


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