So the Christmas Bird Count went well. I went for a nice long walk in the woods and saw nothing, and then I walked along the road on the way to the supermarket and saw a bunch of the little local birds and one big pileated woodpecker. I even managed to get a photo. The night before I had one of my standard recurring dreams where I was out looking for birds and the feeder was filling up with all sorts of rare and unusual species–the Curtis Jennies of birds. I have similar dreams about my coin and stamp collections–suddenly I’m surrounded by the rare and unusual and I think to myself “What good fortune!” So, getting a photograph of a woodpecker on Christmas Bird Count day was sort of terrific. And I never mind a walk in the woods.
At the moment I’m heating water on the stove for a bath–the hot water heater here doesn’t quite fill the tub, I am not living in Frontier House or anything–and packing to head down to MA for a week or so. I am not sure if being a 42 year old lady who still brings laundry to her parent’s house is exceptionally weird, but I think it’s within tolerances for my family. I’ve got some snacking and relaxing planned and not much else. I made some little presents for folks this year, not so much because I’ve got any sort of holiday spirit but I like giving people little things when I see them in the doldrums of winter.
I often feel that my handmade gifts have all the appeal of a macaroni sculpture so this year I tried to go a little upscale. Got some vanilla beans early. Made some vanilla stuff [extract, salt scrubs, sugar] and did up some labels and whatnot. Super holiday score came when the thrift store in town was selling little glass angel bottles for a quarter and I bought ten. I had to ask people if giving someone a little angel filled with liquor was sending a message I might not want to send. They assured me it was not.
I’ve also got a trunkload of Grade C maple syrup. If you see me, have a jar ready.