Well, I'm writing a tad, but still cooking and cleaning up from Christmas, and watching missed movies. So for today, I'm posting the Christmas letter I sent to the family and friends. Minus the address.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Life is full. We have a new house since January 19. Two miles from the old house. With a graceful amount of room throughout, big enough for parties. Big enough for the twelve people we had at Thanksgiving. Maybe 25 next year. It's got a lovely garden with roses, plumeria, azaleas, camellias, ferns and fountains front and back. There are Hawaiian koa wood floors downstairs and dark cherry floors upstairs, extra windows and built-in cabinets, and a whole bonus room for laundry. The living room is calm and peaceful with many windows and high views of giant eucalypti. We got new sofas and fancy lamps, but no coffee table. Need to leave the dance floor free. The family room is cozy and full of dogs and computers. The neighbors are friendly, except the very noisy crows in the trees. A car is in the garage!! Our attic is full. The boys have new bikes to get to high school. We like it. You should come and see it.
I'm teaching ESL at Coastline Community College since enrollments went down at Golden West College. I thank God daily for my fabulous job and hope California budget cuts are kind to us. Peter is still enjoying his pseudo-retired life since his layoff last December. He swims and walks daily, and he's taken over running the house in a big way, which I appreciate.
Scott is a senior and totally full of it as most seniors are, taking only 5 classes, (with an A minus average) and applying for college—mostly UCs and CSUs. Hey, California tax dollars provide great schools. SAT combined score: 2200 (out of 2400.) He's a babe as well. Six feet two, the quiet type, a great sloucher with a terrific smile. He also knows all the best websites.
David (14) is a happy-though-he'd-never-admit-it freshman with 3 honors classes. He swears—er—slaves daily over Spanish 2, mountains of geometry homework and a science fair project where he tortured plants for weeks. No more tuba. No more climbing trees. No more taunting his brother with a wild glint in his eyes. So he can see the computer to chat with his friends online, the amazing curls get cut twice a year, whether they need it or not. No, we don't know where the curls came from, but he is ours.
No fabulous family trips this year. Just a run up the state with Scott to check out colleges in July. He got bored. We got to San Francisco and Berkeley for the first time in ages. I visited my friend India in Wyoming for a few days, and I went to Washington state twice, once to visit Mom and once to bring her here to live. At 88, visiting doctors seems like Mom's hobby. She sees two a week. We have many more doctors in a small radius here than there are in rural Washington. Mom's new place is just around the corner from us and has a view of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains on a clear day. It's just been remodeled, and is very cute. She's had a tough time with arthritic joint pain recently, but things are looking up.
I've taken 4 writing classes with Jack Grapes now, and I still love to write. For my next novel, I'm considering three female characters, one who's starting a fast food chain selling quality soups and salads—with Weight Watchers points counted. Another is engineering a computerized car that runs on bio-fuels (like soup and salad leftovers) and converts to light rail—you can drive it up and get connected to a train of other people's vehicles and go fifty or a thousand miles in record time on public rails, then just drive off the track and do your own thing. The last woman, zaftig, ethnic and very classy, wins an impossible national election in a time of unprecedented economic downturn. Her recovery plan involves tax dollars spent on programs developing a healthy fast food market, new public transit systems that allow converted cars on them, and methods to change organic garbage into green fuel. Which stinks when burned. The bad guy, who threatens our heroes with foreclosure, scandal, and severe acne, is a Detroit dunderhead Hummer exec, married to a soybean oil hydrogenation queen. Pushing Bad Fats and Oils on America, these two sadly end up drowned in a vat of McDonald's special sauce.
Title: One Fat, Two Fat, Red Fat, Blue Fat: Big, Bad Oil vs. The Little Fat That Could
OR: The Lean, Green Farting Machine
Sarah Palin, eat your heart out. ;)
Enjoy your year!
Love, US Warm Weather Folk
That's all for today, but stay tuned in the coming weeks for more words of wisdom and silliness as I delve into my deepest, darkest emotions to make Jack happy and rid myself of this back pain that seems to be highly correlated to repressed emotional shit.