Does everyone know that Christmas is this week? We had a little bit of drama at work this week, related to one of my Jewish coworkers/friends raising the question of how appropriate it is to have Christmas decorations all over our waiting room, given that it’s a government office and there is supposed to be a separation of church and state. Not surprisingly (though, mildly so, as we are ‘culturally sensitive’ social workers, in Santa Cruz, a city that enjoys its reputation of having exceedingly liberal/progressive leanings), some challenging and uncomfortable conversations were had in the office. Good times. 😝
Another new journal! (Pretty much any time we go to a movie, we make time to ‘walk around downtown’ first, which is almost always limited to browsing at Bookshop and staring at the wall of fancy pens at the art supply store and wishing that I was an artist, so I’d have an excuse to shop there. Both places also sell journals.) My friend had posted this read recently about Morning Pages. If you do a quick google search, you’ll see how many people use the practice every morning, which is simply writing three sides of pages (not three front-and-back pages, which would be six sides) first thing every morning. It can be about anything, from what you’re going to wear that day to deep philosophical thoughts, but it has to be three pages. Rather than using my Bullet Journal for this – which would take up a lot of space, and could also get pricey, as they are about $30/pop – I decided to see if the habit would stick by starting with this lovely $4 Five Star notebook. (My BuJo also has *much smaller* pages, which made me question the wisdom of this decision on the first day when I stared down the full-page expanse of empty white lines.) The first week, I failed pretty miserably, only writing three out of seven days. I think that I’ll need to get up a little earlier to fit this in and not have to sacrifice my morning walk.
^Sunrise from one of the aforementioned morning walks. Writing and sunrise walks are equally good for my soul. I’m going to keep trying with the morning pages though, as I like the idea, I like the practice of writing daily, and I mine good material for therapy.
Have I mentioned how many good movies we’ve seen recently? It’s Oscar season and Danny is a movie buff, so we’ve seen a bunch. My favorites, in order: Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and Nocturnal Animals. We’re also excitedly awaiting the release of Fences (on Christmas Day) and Lion.
^See all those little white dots on the cliff? They are birds. And the tiny white dots are a whole bunch of baby birds. It was so cute. We also saw a huge school of dolphins that morning, but they are almost impossible to get good pictures of.
Oh! I made homemade cinnamon rolls last weekend, which turned into a three day effort. The first day was making the dough (with yeast), then letting it chill overnight. Day 2 (Monday night) was rolling the dough out, covering it in melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar, then rolling it back up and slicing rolls. Because I made 50-something rolls, this part took about two hours, and I didn’t finish until 9:30, at which point I decided that I was too tired to bake them that night. On Day 3, I let them rise, then baked and iced them. I brought three pans to work on Wednesday for our holiday breakfast, and another pan to a friend’s pizza-and-game night on Saturday. I saved a pan for me and Danny (to taste test, obviously), and plan to bring another couple of pans to his parents’ house this weekend. I think this will be a holiday tradition.
^Seabright sunset. (Seabright is the neighborhood that I live in, and this is about three blocks from my apartment. I love it here.)
I’m pretty excited to only have a four-day work week, followed by a four-day weekend. We are heading down to SoCal on Thursday night, then taking Danny’s brother and ourselves to The Growlers’ show at the Wiltern on Friday night. The Growlers have been our favorite band for the past few years, and it’ll be his brother’s first live show and I am SO PUMPED. We’ve been listening to them pretty much nonstop – and had several impromptu dance parties in our living room – to ‘prepare.’ We got a reasonably-priced hotel room a few blocks from the show where we will spend Friday night, then head to his parent’s house on Saturday for the holiday festivities.
I’m still working my way through Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels; halfway through the third (of four) right now. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself when I finish because I love them so much. I can’t even imagine reading another book that doesn’t include these beloved characters. This may be my favorite novel (if you think of them as one 1800-page novel broken into four parts) in the last decade. 💝
For a list of what else I’m reading – mostly articles about the ever-mounting horror of our incoming government – please see my friend Rachel’s blog here. I am astounded at how she finds the time to read all of this every week, and enjoy pretty much everything that she shares.
Aaaaaaaaaaand, that’s all, folks! I hope that everyone is staying warm and cozy, enjoying the holidays, and taking some time away from work and technology to spend time with their loves. ❤️
Love all of you. 😘