There’s so much to set a person atwitter in December.
rendering my beeswax: For the first time I melted down the bits of wax I’ve collected from my girls. I got a nice golden prism–enough to make into two (count ’em!) candles. I was hoping to be able to make more for gifts, but I’ve decided to save the wax from my abandoned hive for next year’s bees. Stefaneener told me how to keep it critter-free in the meanwhile with the help of a heavy-duty trash bag and a chunk of dry ice. Such smart friends I have! My remaining hive is still going strong, harvesting nectar from my just-beginning-to-bloom-in-California rosemary…
good books: How could I forget how much I love Lorrie Moore’s writing? Maybe because she hasn’t published a book in ten years? Chris gave me A Gate at the Stairs last Christmas, and somehow I didn’t start reading it until now. Dumb move. The book is fabulous. No one manages to be both snarkily funny and lyrical like Moore does. Just appreciate how she writes about a fortune cookie: “I had one elegantly folded cookie–a short paper nerve baked in an ear.” Lorrie Moore, you kill me.
cookies, cookies, cookies! We’ve only just begun (sing along)…to bake! Yesterday Mr. T and I made up the dough for our annual gingerbread tiles, which longtime readers may remember from two years ago as contender for the best Christmas cookie ever. Next up will be the other cookie that tries each year to claim the throne: David Lebovitz’s Almond and Chocolate Chunk Biscotti. (This is the first year I’ve found the recipe online and sharable!) I’m still considering a few upstart contenders for the batch after that. Maybe Remedial Eating’s version of Flo Braker’s Drei Augen (also known as linzer cookies or red currant jam sandwiches)? Or perhaps Orangette’s take on Alice Medrich’s Whole Wheat Sablés with Cacao Nibs? Or maybe her now famous rendition of Peppermint Bark? (Not a cookie, I know, but I wouldn’t kick it out of the cookie jar.) Perhaps you have another stellar cookie to recommend?
thrilling text messages: Not that I do much texting. But when you have a kid in college all the way across the country, you pick it up pretty fast. A few weeks back I received this ebullient message from that kid: “Joel Coen is speaking to my film class!” Wow. Guess all that battling with the college application monster of last December was worth it. (I’m not sure whether I was more excited with the content of the message or the fact that he cared to share it with his mama.)
fast knitting projects: The knitting really slogged this fall. Swimming lessons got me deep into my crazy gold Que Sera cardigan–but then the lace combined with decreases made for not-so-good Park Day knitting and it was as if my production button had gotten stuck on slo mo. With Christmas coming and a cold boy in New York, I put that project aside and started up a scarf–and suddenly we’re in fast forward. The stitch pattern is manly and 18-year-old-guy-approved and it lets the scarf lie gloriously flat. And the whole long thing is almost finished!
decking the halls: The advent wreath is aglow with three candles at this point in the season, but our advent box could use some more slips. (Either we all need to work harder at sharing our light, or we need to work harder at remembering to record it when we do.) The tree is wearing the equivalent of an unadorned little black dress: it’s done up in nothing but lights and garlands. Not that we’re minimalists around here–it’s just that Lulu and Mr. T want to wait for their big brother to get home before breaking out the ornaments. Which is rather sweet. There’s nothing like a Christmas tree to get you all sentimental.
turning turntables: Chris got his old turntable hooked up and is revisiting his old record collection. He only plays Rush when I’m not home to tease him about it. (Sometimes I catch him.) The other morning he cranked up Van Halen and said, “I have a song for you.” And proceeded to blast “Hot for Teacher.” Ah, the man knows all the backstreets into my heart.
You knew I’d ask: what has you all atwitter?