SUMMARY: Busy busy busy.
December 21, I went with a few of my sisters and bros-in-law out to dinner and then to the refurbished California Theater to get into the holiday spirit with a screening of White Christmas.
Sing along now with sisters #2 and 3, "Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...!" (Watch/listen as performed by "Haynes sisters"...or, bonus, as performed by Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye)
Christmas Eve was fairly relaxing. Wrap a few gifts. Listen to Christmas music. Actually quite a bit to do; dogs neglected except for a short walk. At least they got those big juicy bones to work over.
Christmas Day I dropped in on a long-time friend, we went for a walk and chatted. Then Family most of the rest of the day, then a brief evening with some other friends. Home around 10 p.m. and crash into bed. Dogs were totally neglected.
The day after Christmas found me driving to Monterey with other selected sisters and related children. Took dogs for a really quick half-mile walk before I left, which really barely gets us started.
Beaches at Monterey have a lot of "no dogs" signs. Maybe these weren't really dogs. Or maybe this wasn't one of those beaches. Viszla discovers kelp.
I took no dogs of my own to bound gleefully along the beach, but fortunately I thought to bring along young offspring of random sisters to fill the void.
Sister #4 successfully conquers kelp.
Dragons are my other thing. Besides dogs. And photography. And writing. And some other stuff I like to do but don't have the time for. This one isn't really missing his tail; I'm missing some determination to finish merging multiple photos...
Sister #2 and bro-in-law who instigate many of these trips gaze longingly out to sea. No one knows why.
Nieces and nephews--can hardly tell who, because mostly all I ever see are the backs of their heads dashing away from me so fast that their color shifts towards red--stop for a moment to gaze longingly out to sea. No one knows why.
At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, danger lurks in every corner; assorted nieces and nephews are nearly devoured by a giant clam.
A special exhibit of otters from around the world nearly devours my inadequate frolicing-creatures-in-the-dark-interior-through-thick-spattered-glass-surrounded-by-crowds-of-people camera skills. One of them, sensing my fear, pauses for a millisecond in triumph and I finally get it on film.
I hate younger generations whose camera phones take photos that are as good as or better than my digital SLR. But ha! take THAT you young whippersnappers, I get two photos of jellies for the price of one!
In the evening, we rush home and then out for a Boxing Day banquet at another assorted sister's house. Home by 10, crash in bed exhausted. Dogs are completely neglected.
Two days after Christmas, leap out of bed early and head for the hills for a strenuous 8-mile, 2500-foot-cumulative elevation gain (and drop back down) hike. It's a perfect day for it, but my up-hilling equipments have gotten out of shape over the last couple of months of not doing any hill hiking. I can barely drag myself across the parking lot for a late afternoon movie viewing with a friend.
I crawl into bed at 8:30--dogs completely neglected again and started to really show it--and sleep for 12 hours. Except for the nightmare where Tika runs across the freeway out on the coast and is hit by a car. I cry for a bit and then fall again into an exhausted sleep. I am SOOOO not going to see Marley and Me.
Next day, my body is wiped out and rebels in many ways, but I make it out to the theater for yet another movie (all those studios releasing all those good movies the same week. Dash it all! How to keep up?!). I, the popcorn maniac, cannot at this point in my rebellious bodydom, stomach popcorn. I crawl home afterwards (hard to do in a minivan, I'll tell ya), collapse into bed for a long long nap. Dogs are going nuts. I can't believe I don't even turn on my computer for 24 hours.
Then spend 6 hours sorting and editing hundreds of photos. I'm STILL not quite done with the last week's worth, and I didn't even take any photos on the hike or the Boxing Day banquet or many other activities. Someday I'll get back to my October Monterey trip, my September Montreal trip, and my November Scottsdale trip photos. In the meantime, dogs are very very neglected and are not letting me forget it.
Meanwhile, I've finally met someone special!
OK, I think I can almost walk again today and have no movies, parties, trips, or photography sessions scheduled. Must work. Must take dogs for walk. Might even think about practicing some--uh--what's that sport called that I used to do with my dogs before THE HOLIDAYS kicked in?