November flakes are falling from the sky, sparse and lazy. The east coast gets slammed, and Buffalo remains, for the most part, green and grey. Odd.

I spent my weekend in an oil pastel haze. I don’t want to say why (psst – Christmas gifts), but I loved my Saturday night, which consisted of quick and dirty oil pastel sketches. I go through long periods where I don’t draw at all, but when I make myself, I really do enjoy it. I was almost feverishly intense on Saturday night, drawing and blending, drawing and blending until my fingers were such a muddy mess, I had to wash them several times to see skin again.

I did not so much enjoy my Sunday morning, when I realized that I had run out of a key ingredient for my Christmas gifts, and that the store selling it was closed until today. But then, in the afternoon, I had pasta and wine with my friend Donna. We watched “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” which I love, and which is one of only two gifts I bought for myself this Christmas (the other is “Lost in Austen”).

Tonight I’ll buy the missing ingredient, and then keep on doing what I’m doing. Tomorrow is my department’s holiday lunch, which I am looking forward to. Tomorrow evening, I’ll finish my Christmas shopping – hopefully – and then finish my wrapping. I will try to be as serene as possible during this entire shopping and wrapping process.

On Wednesday, I load up the car with presents and Floyd, and drive on down to Familyland, hopefully with decent weather on my side. Wednesday is also my nephew Izaak’s 10th birthday (it seems like only yesterday, me asking professors if I could take my finals early so that I could be with my sister, who was due in mid-December… and then, of course, Izaak coming almost two weeks later). At some point during this little Christmas vacation, Izaak and I are going to have a birthday lunch at Friendly’s.

Though I want to be serene, I am realistic enough to expect some stress tomorrow evening, but then it will be five days of Christmas bliss. New movies, toys and games for all of us, good food, a cat to play with, my brother’s dog ROY! (I have to say it like that) to play with, and babies, babies, babies! Sleepovers, hot chocolate, popcorn. Hopefully some pretty, fluffy, Christmas-miracle-type snow. I am excited.


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