a few of my favorite things

Belated season's greetings. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza and a delightful New Year's eve. I had hoped to write before the end of the year but spent most of my time after the 20th and before Christmas at work, squeezing in cards, wrapping gifts, last-minute holiday projects and packing for California.

Our week away was wonderful. The weather in Sacramento on Christmas eve was a sunny 62 degrees, but by the time we arrived on the evening of the 25th it was raining. It continued to do so for most of the week, with a couple of breaks here and there. But I can't complain - the low temperature there was still a good 10 degrees warmer than the highest high here. And no snow. Delightful.

We spent most of the week with Neal's folks and brother, plus a couple of bonus visits with friends in town. Aside from eating (I easily put back on about half of the 10 or so pounds I'd lost since moving to Boston last summer) we did a lot of sleeping in and watching movies (Walk the Line, Rumor Has It, King Kong, and Munich, plus Man in the Moon and Yes on video/DVD), plus a little after-Christmas shopping. That's pretty much the typical Roseville agenda. It was probably the first Christmas vacation where I actually took the entire week off and truly relaxed. It was great.

But I was ready to come home. I was a little homesick the first evening, but I'm more or less back in the grind, as they say. I have three weeks semi-off (I'll put in a little time selling stationery between now and then) until spring semester begins.

Anyway, there's not much else to report since my last update. I've posted a few pics from our visit to Thunder Valley Casino, just outside Sacramento, on Flickr. Otherwise, I thought I'd share some animal imagery here. I used to think the song from Sound of Music, you know, when she sings about her favorite things, was a little weird. I had it all backwards - I thought she was singing "these are a few of my favorite things: when the dog bites, and the bee stings..." as if she was listing those things as her favorite things, not the things that made her think of her favorite things. I thought this for about the first 25 or 26 years of my life. Seriously. Anyway, I love animals in general, and cats' paws in particular. They'll rarely let you get a good look at them, by my kitties are so docile and trusting that they actually let me pet their paws. I don't know what it is, cats' paws are just one of my favorite things, I guess. So here are a few images of the animals in my life, starting with a sleepy Sophie:

And Xander, pre-:


and post-yawn:

Aren't they just precious?

By the way, to be fair, Neal took these pictures. I downloaded them with the Flickr images that I took. I feel justified in claiming and using them because Neal rarely blogs or updates his Flickr page. What's up with that?

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