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Result: The All Things Alcott Challenge

Back in November, I signed up for the All Things Alcott Challenge.  Because it was during the last six weeks on the challenge, my goal would be to read one book by or about Louisa May Alcott. I'm sorry to say that I didn't make my objective.  I read the Wikipedia article about Ms. Alcott's life and read one short story, "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving."

The Wikipedia article about Ms. Alcott is a great introduction to her fascinating life.  Here are five facts about her:
Ms. Alcott was born on her father's birthday. Her father was Amos Bronson Alcott, one of the founders of American Transcendentalism. One of Ms. Alcott's teachers was Henry David Thoreau, author of Civil Disobedience.She wrote novels that Wikipedia describes as "passionate, fiery novels and sensational stories," which perhaps would be categorized today as Chick Lit.The character "Laurie" in Little Women may have been based on Ladislas Wisniewski, a young Polish man she me…

Merry Christmas!

I almost forgot to post a Christmas song. The husband and I just finished wrapping presents. Yes, I know.

Anyway, I've accomplished my goal: Post a Christmas song a day until Christmas. Here's the list of the past 24 Christmas songs that I've posted (I'm too pooped to give you links. Sorry. But, click here to go to the 25 Christmas Songs category:
"Christmas Time is Here Again" performed by the Beatles "Jingle Bells" sung by Ella Fitzgerald "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" sung by Bruce Springsteen"I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas" performed by Gayla Peevey "Mele Kalikimaka!" sung by Bing Crosby"Jingle Bells" performed by Glenn Miller and Orchestra"Carol of the Bells" performed by Jake Shimabukuro"Up on the Housetop" sung by Gene Autrey"Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel" performed by Randy Granger"Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" sung by Brenda Lee"O Holy Night" sung …

The Mystery of the Christmas Presents

Sitting on our doorstep are two Christmas bags that someone left on our doorstep. The husband and I found it when we came home yesterday evening. Somebody must've come by when the mama was sweeping leaves in her garden. We brought them in and looked for tags to identify the givers. One said "Delsa" and the other said "Happy Thanksgiving."

Obviously, someone left the presents at the wrong house. So, of course the husband and I headed back outside and knocked on a few neighbors' doors. No luck at all.  Nobody was home at the house where we think the intended giftee lives. And, the other neighbors couldn't help us. All we can do is try again come morning.

We set the presents on the doorstep in case the ones who left them finally realize they got the wrong house and come back for them. I surely hope they do.  The paranoid part of me wonders if the presents contain contraband or a bomb. But, I suppose if it was the latter, we would've heard something ti…

The Final 23rd Date of 2010

Later today, the husband and I will be off on our twelfth 23rd date. I admit that I'm impressed that we did honor last year's Christmas gift to each other.  Every 23rd of the month, we dropped everything and took off for an afternoon or a whole day. We drove back roads we've always wanted to explore. We hiked unfamiliar parks, strolled along beaches, and wandered in nearby cities. When it rained, we took ourselves to movies and, on one occasion, to the Egyptian museum. I wrote about some of our adventures, which you can find here, if you're interested.

Our final 23rd date of the year will be a shopping adventure. Yep, shopping. The activity the husband probably dislikes to do the most. But, it is time for us to do some Christmas shopping for each other, so why not on our 23rd date. To make it fun, we made a few rules.
We can only spend $10. Uh-huh, ten bucks, including taxes.We must purchase at least 5 items for each other. No handmade items allowed. Handmade coupons f…

ABC and Outdoor Wednesday: Winter

This is what winter looks like in my part of the world. These are the low mountains of the Diablo Range that makes up the eastern border of my town and county. (Check out my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister, if you'd like to know more about my town.) We've had a few rainy days during the last few weeks, which to me means that everything is starting to get green again.

Yes, I'm spoiled. Winter in my area is mild compared to the Sierras, the Midwest, New England, Alaska, Europe, and other places that get lots and lots of snow, and sometimes blizzards. I really can't imagine living a full winter in such cold. Now and then, snow covers the mountain tops around us, but it melts within a few hours once the sun comes out. 

In good years, our winters are cold enough to make the fruit tree orchards in our area happy. The good years also give us lots of rain to fill our reservoirs. This looks like it could be one of those good years. We can only hope.

Today's Christmas medl…

The Winter Solstice

What a momentous Winter Solstice we're having this year! Not only is it the longest night of the year, but there is a full moon. And, a total lunar eclipse! Did you see it? The experts say that the last time a total lunar eclipse coincided with a winter solstice was over 370 years ago.

It had been raining all day and evening in our area, but as the time approached for the eclipse to begin, the clouds parted open like stage curtains. The more the earth blocked the moon from the sun, the more brilliant the stars became. We were able to see part of the Orion constellation. At the peak of eclipse when the moon was like an orange ball, the husband said it looked like Orion was reaching up to grab it.

What an amazing Christmas gift we all were given today. Thank you, universe. Thank you, God!

For today's Christmas tune, I present to you "Ring Out, Solstice Bells," performed by Jethro Tull.  The animation was the 1976 promo video for the song. For the lyrics, check out this p…

The First Name

Su-sieee! is how the mama calls for me. When she urgently wants me, she puts a long emphasis on the second syllable. If I don't answer in two or three beats, she calls again. Su-sieeeeeeeeeeee!

So, dear readers, in case you were wondering, that is why I italicize the second syllable of my name.

The mama had not planned to name me Susie. She had another name in mind for me.  But, the mama was foiled by her accent and the nurse who was assigned to get my name from the mama.

"What is your baby's name?" asked the nurse.

"Tessie," said the mama.

"Susie?" the nurse asked.

"No," the mama replied. "Tessie."

"Susie?"

"Tessie."

"Susie?"

"Tessie."

"Susie?"

The mama gave up. "Yes, Susie."

That's the story the mama tells me. After all these years, I'm still thankful the nurse couldn't understand her.

Today's Christmas song is "Thank God It's Christmas,"  performed…