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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006.

Dig the mundane title I gave to this blog entry! I am just really tired from visiting and cooking and from the general exuberant joy of Christmas festivities, and can't think too creatively at the moment.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were simply marvelous, magical, and pregnant with the love of the Newborn King. In my church, it is STILL Christmas proper for a number of days. So while the past few days have been charged with the electric excitement of the coming of Emmanuel, with the love and joy and gifts of goodwill, love, and appreciation of those close to me - now I can relax and bask quietly in the glow of this holy Christmastide. It is quiet in Bethlehem as the Babe lays sleeping on Mary's breast. And so it is quiet in my heart and soul as well.

***

Because I can't get a flu shot, and because with CFS I have a compromised immune system, I haven't been out among people for a couple or so weeks now. It is nice to NOT have the flu or a cold or any of that rotten kind of stuff. This comes at the cost of not getting to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, but I was able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. I am so blessed that my dad brings me the Eucharist six days out of every week. God is so very, very good to me!

***

While my dad was at Midnight Mass, I baked Gingersnaps for someone whose mother died a week before Christmas. After that, I got a yen for some Christmas Stollen like my Italian Nani used to make, so I got out the cookbook and did it the easy way - mixed the very rich dough in the bread machine. Several hours of Christmas music (Gregorian Chant, some of it - so lovely!) and a messy kitchen later, by 4:30 Christmas morning, I had produced three magnificent and beautiful Christmas Stollen like my Nani used to make. Later, when my dad got up for breakfast, he pronounced these stollen to be even more delicious and delectable than those made at his father's bakery when he was growing up. That is quite a compliment, because the family bakery was quite famous for being an excellent one. The secret to my stollen? Nani used to put pure almond extract in both the dough AND the icing.

***

I received many lovely and thoughtful gifts. But the greatest gift is that the Father gave me Jesus.

***

For the first time, we had standing rib roast for Christmas Day dinner. It's the first one I ever made by myself. I wanted so badly for it to be a success that I prayed! And it turned out absolutely PERFECT! There must have been angels watching this roast in the oven. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed prime rib so supremely. I think we have a new tradition on our hands. We had the leftovers for dinner tonight (St. Stephen's Day). It was just as excellent this evening as it was yesterday.

***

The kitties were absolutely angelic over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Then today about Noon, Kiki T. McFierceson decided that was enough of that, picked himself up off of the very comfy sofa (I call our new sofa The World's Most Expensive Glorified Cat Bed™ because the kittens spend more time on it than anyone else, and thus they think it their exclusive property ), walked casually over to the Christmas tree, and then promptly began to CLIMB THE CHRISTMAS TREE. There were a few tense minutes, and much hollering, wheedling, pleading, and then more hollering emanated from my mouth. The Cat decided to continue in his Dire Deed... until I got out the kitchen broom and started screaming at him like Hallmark's Screaming Banshee®.

When he gets his hearing back, I think he will think twice before he climbs the Christmas tree again.

***

Today has been peaceful and joyful, but I am really suffering from intense fibromyalgia. All the PT exercises in the world can't help on a day like today. There is nothing to do but to grin and bear it, and to offer it up to Jesus in union with His suffering on the Cross. I am trying to make the best of it.

Seeing as how the pain made me keep to my bed most of the day, I was at least fortunate to have two very warm and fuzzy footwarmers (the kittens) keep me company as I read Charles Dickens' The Holly-Tree (I heartily recommend that book, especially the title story). For those of you who are going to be paying off Christmas debts for awhile and don't want to buy books, I'm sure you can find this book at your local library. If you're not good at returning library materials in a timely fashion, I'm sure you can find it as a free ebook for Microsoft Reader or as an etext at Project Gutenberg. *Note: Project Gutenberg now also has MP3 audio files of books being read aloud. There are also computer-read books for the blind there. I'll look up the link shortly and post it when I edit this entry. (And for all I know, some kind Dickens' aficionado has recorded it as a podcast available for free download through the iTunes store).

***

I am now officially on vacation from the library until flu season is over. I can put books and CDs on hold through the online services of the Marshfield Public Library for my dad to pick up, but I can't do that with videos and DVD's. So, my dad kindly treated me to a nice big Netflix subscription for this month. By Wednesday or Thursday, I should be enjoying Mork and Mindy, Season One, Disc One, and Therese, the movie about St. Therese of Lisieux who is my favorite saint.

***

Well, that's enough out of me for now. Who knows but what I might be up in the middle of the night on a Green Acres "high" and feel the need to blog some more.

Thank you for reading. Each of you have been in my prayers.

Merry Christmas! Christ is born for us!!!!!!!!


PS: If you don't want to Google the links for Microsoft Reader and Project Gutenberg on your own, the Xanga version of this blog entry will take you directly to both places upon clicking on the magic green and gold letters. :)

Currently Reading
The Holly-Tree
By Charles Dickens