December thus far:  Got through December 1 without any sadness.  It was a happy day, and if there was one tear it was when I was driving home remembering my father and the memories that filled me with a huge amount of joy that I just said, “Thank you Daddy,” and teared a little, but it was out of happiness.

On December 1, before dawn, and it was hard to see, out of tribute to my father, fought taking down the orange Halloween-harvest lights on the porch.  God, what was I thinking when I entwined them the way that I did?  It was beautiful, but heavens.  Put up the Christmas light, this in a red and white candy cane sort of theme and I like it.  Didn’t twine too much.

Put the wreath on the front door, the little illuminated Christmas tree in the kitchen window.  I had planned to put the tree up this weekend, but alas, it has rained for two day (really enjoyed the gray weather) and I know the branches at Toy Soldier will be too wet;  So, it will have to wait perhaps to next weekend; if I can do it before will depend on my crash factor after work.  But I did festoon the red velvet ribbon in the arches this morning, and attached the usual ornaments and I always love how this looks–it’s a tradition I started my second Christmas here.

Cox Cable came yesterday and I now have MeTV, Create, and no DirecTV.  The picture clariy is amazing even on my old tellies.  Anthony, the cable guy, showed me how to record, and work the remote and we wound up on TCM showing, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”  My God, I said, looking at Monument Valley and the clear picture–look how beautiful that is.  Anthony told me if I had HD television, I would be able to see the follicles on the Indians hair.  I might buy one for my bedroom after some budgetary considerations.

Watched Create all afternoon long in the gray light; dozed off early but had the presence of mind to pre-tape Svengoolie.  Awakened in the middle of the night wide, awake, got up made a pot of coffee and watched Sven showing a movie with Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor–remember THAT story–called, “The Night Walker.”  You know, I enjoyed it.  You could tell Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck still seemed to have some sort of warmth between them–and Sven’s foolishness was just fun.

So, what’s for dinner today?  This morning I browned some chicken tenders in butter spread, then added red and green peppers with onion to the mix, poured a tablespoon of Pick-A-Pepper into, fresh chopped ginger and some other spices, water and slowly cooked it down.  I had made jasmine rice; and yesterday pan-toasted unsalted cashews in butter spread.  Cooked fresh beets, chopped them and then tossed in an olive oil and Balsamic vinaigrette.  Put the Jamaican chicken atop the rice, topped it with some of the cashews and had the salad with it for lunch.  It was all very delicious!  While that was on the stove, in the oven was roasting some lean pork tenderloin set on a bed of onions, turnips and parsnips with seasoning.  Slow roasted this for three hours; made a heavenly jus, and overall, though roasted after taking a taste to see how it came out, it almost tastes that backbone stew in the country.  So, have cooked for the week, and luckily it all seems to have come out very well indeed.  That’s from Jeanne’s Fly-by-the Seat of Your Pants cookbook.

After Sven, I watched television until 3:30 AM, and then, despite drinking nearly a pot of coffee at midnight, got very sleepy and went back to bed.  Fell into a wonderful delicous sleep for hours.  Dreamed I was ready to decorate my tree–the boxes with the decorations were all out in the middle of the living room.  Went to my bedroom for something and when I came back, there in the middle of the living room sat Earl as a puppy.  He ran to me and I picked him up as he squirmed in my arms, licking my face, and just overjoyed as he used to be whenever I came home.  Once again in this dream, I could feel him so vividly, that I have come to believe the infrequently, but from time to time, Le Bon Dieu lets the little fellow come and visit me.  He looked like a Christmas snowflake, or spun sugar.  Well, as Mark Twain said, if there aren’t any dogs in heaven I don’t want to go there.

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