Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Last-Day-To-Remember-This-Year's-Books Post

Hmmm, hmmmm. I kind of tapered off this fall. Doing more work-work and that tends to leave me with less mental and emotional energy for imaginary problems.

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. This was for the church book club as part of the library's fall selection for the whole community. Chosen mostly on the basis of being a local author, I suspect. It was mostly just depressing. Inept people trying to cope with senseless tragedy and not a smidgen of hope anywhere. Not badly written, but pointless.

Sky Raiders, Rogue Knight, Crystal Keepers. Another Brandon Mull series the kids insisted I read. Lots of fun.

Castle Hangnail, Ursula Vernon. Totally hilarious tale of a castle that needs a new Evil Overlord and an aspiring young witch trying to fill some very big shoes. My birthday present from Bookworm. Duchess also loved it.

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio. Apparently this was Lloyd Alexander's last book, a simple but satisfying fairy tale romance set along the Silk Road.

Seems like I must have read other books, but I'm drawing a blank.

In progress, hoping to finish soon:

The Secret Lives of Codebreakers. Ron and I came across a miniseries called Bletchley Park about some former code-breakers trying to catch a serial killer. It was so engrossing I couldn't resist the urge to find a book and read more about the real story.

The Poisonwood Bible. This is our church's book club selection for January. I'm not sure whether I'll love it or hate it or what but it's extremely well written and engrossing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

White Christmas

A rather obscure beloved book of my childhood, called Wu-Han of Korea if memory serves me right, depicted an idyllic pre-war but post-Catholicism Korea with its traditional customs and folkways.

One of the lines I remember vividly explained how in Korea, white was the color of mourning, and there was a rigid procedure for how many years it must be worn: so many years for the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, child. The result of these customary long years of mourning, the book explained, was that adults pretty much only wore white. Only children and an occasional young adult would still be wearing bright colors.

As a child, I figured this must be because people died a lot more in the olden days.

Well, perhaps they did die a bit younger, but the death rate is, of course, the same. Because the grownups in my life didn't wear mourning, I could not see the loss that walked with them. A once-met uncle or great-aunt was just a name to me. I did not remember the hands who had written the recipes, the faces in the faded pictures.

Now I know that they did. Now I have my own loss that walks with me. And now I realize it is simply part of life, in the past, the present, and the future. The longer you live, the more dead people you know. The more Christmases you celebrate, the longer the Ghost of Christmas Past shines his light backwards to places and people forever gone.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Winter Storms

This year is the clear winner for Least Posts Ever.

Starting a business is just about as exhausting as having two new babies, and it uses a lot more words.

Business has been going well enough, all things taken into account, but the star of Murphy has been in the ascendant and when things can go crazy, they have. El Niño has given us an endless succession of rain and wind and power outages. One case goes crazy, and then another does, and then they push something else out of the way which takes three times as long to fix as it would have to have done right in the first place, but mind and body do break down at some point.

Still, we've been in our own business for nearly a whole year and we haven't gone broke or had a malpractice claim yet.

Beginning the first of the year we are moving to a location only seven minutes from home. We are keeping a satellite office at our old location at the other end of the county, but we will all be relieved to avoid the daily bottleneck and hopefully spend more time working (or possibly even sleeping) and less time driving (and, in my case, carsick). Our new location is also much larger and we will be subletting to other attorneys.

I gave the kids and myself an extra week off school for Christmas. I haven't exactly used it to relax yet, but we did do a massive purge of the playroom and bedrooms. They decided they had outgrown most of their toys--trains, toy food, most dress-up--so we are down to Legos and a zoo's worth of stuffies. They may have made up for quite a bit of it when they went Christmas shopping for each other at the variety mall--they were flush with cash after we hired them to stamp numbers on the documents for a trial--but they mostly got more stuffed animals which, if somewhat space-hungry, at least don't hurt to step on.

This year, Christmas dinner is going to be gourmet frozen pizza. And cookies. Surely I can still manage a couple of batches of cookies.