Off and On this fall I have felt in a funk (there are many reasons for it) but I just don't like feeling down. However this week has been a very good week (I haven't always been in a good mood) but looking back there were so many gems of beauty and fun, they all just sort of hit me this morning as I woke up.
Things that made me happy this week:
1. Watching Aay and Zee play a new game (not Dominos, Monopoly Jr or Dora Candy Land which they all got for Christmas) but Garbanzo Guessing Game, a game they made up a dinner time last Saturday. I had made Tandoori Chicken for Chris and I (another of our missionary meals) and I had given the girls chickpeas to go with their wild rice. The girls love chick-peas, they are one our all-around best snacks, good hot or cold, easily portable and nutritious. After a little while Aay got up and started doing her usual mid-dinner jog. Zee got down to join her. Aay needs to do this every once in a while, it doesn't mean she is done eating her dinner, only that she is done sitting. She kept running to the front room and back, loading up on chickpeas every return trip to the table, and of course Zee started imitating her. Before long whenever they would pass each other they would as each other (Guess how many Chick-peas I have in my mouth?). After a little while they started coming to us to guess. Some of you might be recoiling in horror (running while eating, gasp! what a chocking hazard!, Talking with their mouth full, gasp! =P). It was a surreal and incredible fun 10 minutes, plus they ate an incredible amount of chick-peas in the process.
2. I got a new suitcase for Christmas. It is a nice size, with lot of compartments and it isn't black.
3. The Coutzee's over for Christmas Dinner. They are a wonderful family, smart and funny. They were great pseudo-family.
4.Snow on Boxing day. We only got about half and inch that first snow this week. But it was good enough for snow angels.
5. Snow the following day. We got about a foot of snow on Thursday. I dug out our house, and while I did it I listened to a CBC podcast of "Words at Large for Dec.27th" called Shakespeare: Classics Revisited where they interviewed Prof. Stephen Greenblatt about his new book "Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare." It was incredibly interesting interview to me. Sort of getting to go back and sit in my old English 346 class. I am going to have to add it to my Library hold list.
7. Inter-library Loans. Thank God for the Library. I went by the Library to pick up the 5th volume of Jeff Smith's excellent series, Bone. Whenever I get a volume, I always plan on savoring it, reading only one issue at a time, but I always end up reading the whole thing in one chunk. Without or without coloring, it is just one of the best all-ages comic series I have ever read. I know I will getting these collections later to read to the girls when they get just a little older.
6. Hor-Frost yesterday morning. When I talked to my sister on Christmas eve one of the first things she asked me was whether we had a Hor-frost yet. Sadly we hadn't yet. Yesterday morning however, all the trees where awesomely arrayed. It made me so happy, maybe because it can cause a slight bit of disorientation when you first see it. Immediately after waking up I found myself walking by the Kitchen window and looking out at the Pine trees in our neighbor's yard. For a moment you just sort of marvel at how beautiful it is, and then you question yourself, "was that there before and I just didn't see it?" and then you realize that no, that is new. It is just simply magical to drive out under a canopy of frost covered trees as the little dusting of snow rains down. By afternoon it is all gone, but you still have the memory.
7. A pleasant and peaceful drive to MH. The girls were incredibly well behaved. We had to cancel our last trip midway because of misbehavior. We had a lots of fun.
8. Iced Cran-Grape with Vodka and Much Music's Top 50 Guilty Pleasures countdown. Chris found this on TV the other night and we spent a enjoyable half-hour watching some of delightfully fun videos.
9. The excellent extra-features on our Pirates of the Caribbean 1 and 2 DVD's. These were Chris's Plan-B Christmas Presents. His actual Christmas present got held up at Customs till yesterday (a excellent replica Baltimore Black Sox Jersey) so I had to quickly buy a back-up present so Chris would still have something to open on Christmas Eve. Our first ever DVD's purchases were the Lord of the Ring extended DVD editions. The hours and hours of extra-features completely spoiled us for DVD featurettes. Since then we have had to lower our expectations in order to enjoy the extra features on other DVD sets like Buffy and Angel (Firefly, had a great extra-features package). In our experience most featurettes are at worst PR fluff, that in effect try to sell you the movie you already purchased and at best somewhat informative and amusing (The Pixar Bonuses features are crowd pleaser at our house) but they very rarely painfully honest about the conflicts and struggles involved in movie making. Pirates 1 features started off well, and got better, with the Diary of Pirate and Diary of Ship being really outstanding. Pirates 2's features started out with a bang, with Charting the Course, which detailed the start of the production process once they chose to do sequels to the original Pirates. Script problems, casting problems, weather, budget, all honest discussed and filmed. Several times Chris and I found ourselves marveling at how raw the documentary got, not glossing over the conflicts. The first Dvd's extra features made you want to be in movies and appreciate the importance of studios, the second, made you appreciate that "other" people where out there making movies on location, while I got to enjoy them from the comfort of my own home.
10. My girls. Last night before bathtime the girls joined me in some streches. I taught them how to do Downward facing dog and Sun Salutaions, and before long they were making up their own "yoga" exercises, and calling them such things as "Hello Sun, goodbye Moon". Then later in night after our TV watching we went upstairs to check on the girls and get ready for bed. We found Zee, curled up asleep at the edge of room wearing at least 5 pairs of pajamas. This morning she was so incredibly proud of it. She is walking around the house right now looking incredibly well padded and ready to wrestle any sumo wrestler that challenges her. I just love my kids!