Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year

Holiday Countdown 2008:

1) Baked Christmas cookies/candy, which were then distributed to the office staff in my and my husband's department and the neighbors.

2) Bought and mailed Christmas presents over 1 week before Christmas!

3) Left home on December 17th for a 10-day trip to two cities on the west coast. Got caught in the traffic muddle that ensued after Las Vegas got snow and stayed the night in a sub-par hotel in Phoenix. There was no shower curtain in our room, but once you've been awake for over 20 hours and can only sleep for 4-5 that night, little things like shower curtains don't seem that important.

4) Graduated on December 19th. Yes, it was totally worth it to make a trip to our alma mater for graduation. My husband and I spent 7 years working on our masters and then our doctorates, and getting our hoods felt great!!! It also put closure on a long process.

5) Saw friends in city of alma mater, which was soul-reviving. With the long months of sickness last semester, and getting used to a new place, we haven't yet made many new friends (that's one of our combined resolutions for 2009).

6) On December 20th flew to Santa Barbara to spend Christmas with my parents and grandmother. We took walks in the 50-60 degree weather (which felt wonderful!!!), saw the beach, visited Trader Joe's and remembered why we miss it so much, listened to my grandmother tell stories about her childhood Christmases in Vienna, sang Christmas carols, made really yummy Chicken Cacciatore (Giada De Laurentis made a typically time-consuming, and potentially complicated, dish very simple), and generally spent time together.

7) Arrived back home the evening of the 26th. We were glad to see our pets and our house. Having your own house to come back to changes things.

8) Today: finally got out our holiday cards, complete with a message from the dog. The message from the dog follows. Enjoy!

Dear Everyone,

In the spirit of the season, I have decided to take a break from bone chewing and cat chasing to write this holiday newsletter. This year, two dissertations were earned in our household and my masters are now entitled to be addressed as Dr. X and Dr. PracticingIdealist X. They spent a lot of time on this decision but I don’t really see the point. I just call them ”food guy” and “bride of food guy” myself. Humans are so picky.

As if this weren’t enough of a shake-up, Drs. Food Guy then stuck yours truly, the orange cat and the gray cat into cages in the back of a car. Every morning we went in and every night we came out in some new place. The smells were really cool! I mostly slept but the orange cat spent a lot of the trip complaining. During our nightly breaks I tried to comfort him but for some reason the Food Guys thought I was just biting his leg. Please! Finally, we pulled in to our new home.

The house is amazing! A large back yard complete with big birds and these things called deer and squirrels. I haven’t seen a reptile in months! I’m not so sure about this white stuff that falls from the sky- I barked at it at first but now it seems to know who’s boss. Some days I don’t see the cats for hours on end- they like to hide in the basement, I think, but it’s weird down there. The Food Guys seem happy, too.

Well, that’s the news! We wish all of you our warmest holiday wishes and hope the new year brings you lots of yummy rawhide bones.

Dog X

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