Home From the Holidays…

Well, well, well and me-oh my-oh. I have not blogged at all whilst on Christmas holiday!


It was lovely. We took the train up to Hogwarts Oregon, and had Christmas with a couple of aunts and cousins.

Among the Wee Folk...

There are, in fact, fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Okay, so I took this picture back when it was warm and slightly sunny– Christmas in Oregon was quite wet and chilly. But it’s my youngest cousin, Robinson, posing with some faerie-esque dolls. It had come out poorly, so I did some cropping and editing, and I made the palette slightly more sepia and the lines slightly softer for faux old-timeyness.


Anyway, Der Binster is much bigger now, impressing us over Christmas with his having teeth, being mobile, and expanding his limited vocabulary.


Here is where I shall come clean about my being not a fan of children, in general. I never have been, and for the most part I never shall be. It just happens that the little tiny people in my family– and not just blood relations– are all more than tolerable. Infants and children who are clever, quiet, more-than-usually un-sticky, and, dare I say it… well, adorable.


So there you have it. As much as other people’s children usually terrify me, I do find myself bursting with love for the infants and children of my relatives and exceptionally close friends. No, I don’t know what to think, either. Christmas miracle?


Anyway, had an all-around wonderful Christmastime. Saw Inception (twice! And am planning on buying the Blu Ray for further repeat viewings, and for special features), ate copious amounts of delicious food, went to a bookstore and some Goodwills, had a tea party… and then the giving and receiving of gifts, the watching of ‘White Christmas’, New Years’ Eve (more delicious food! Watching Muppet Show and Smothers Brothers and fun things like that!)…


On the Goodwill trips: The Goodwill in Merced? No great shakes. The best stuff there is the stuff we donated. The Goodwills in Oregon? Magical. We had exceptional good luck. Found a miniature old-fashioned telephone (actually an ornament) for my sister, my brother found a gorgeous old-fashioned globe-with-stand, and some truly sweet records at ridiculously low prices.


We also went to the Uwajimaya grocery (with built in Kinokuniya Bookstore!)– fun stuff to look at, great place for last-minute stocking stuffers. Of course it made me wish I had money, but there’s always next time. They had giant bottles of Calpico as well.


On the tea party:


Cup of tea?

When I say 'Earl Grey', you say 'Yes Please!'

I can’t drink tea (mild allergy), but I love tea parties! Sadly, I left my new Tea Party Hat at home– vintage, dark blue velvet baskety thing with a net demi-veil. Le sigh! Got it for a song at the wrap-up of a lovely Methodist Ladies’ Bazaar. Happily, I received a doll-sized tea set for Christmas– white with blue roses, one of the cups features prominently in the above photo, taken by my sister, and featuring prominently also the hand of her ABJD Tatiana. Vince’s elbow is in the background there…


(Oh, right! So I haven’t blogged about Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls before! Anyway, my sister and I have gotten into this hobby together, it’s the last thing I would have expected from me because I was never much into dolls, but they’re very pretty, and completely customizable. Nice for creative types, you can paint their faces yourself, practice drapery and costume-making, change out eyes and wigs to represent any character… and they make excellent photography models.

Vince and Roy Batty


I got a boy, his name’s Vince. This pic’s a little blurry, and he doesn’t normally have blue hair, but it looked kind of cute and elfin with the Santa hat. His pyjama pants I made myself. I plan on working on making more costumes for him, it’s good sewing practice.)


Anyway, back to the tea party- there were scones, many different jams, clotted cream, itty bitty sandwiches… Beautiful spread. I just had water instead of tea and enjoyed eating sweet little foods and hanging out with the refined ladies and gentlemen (erm, my relatives, some of us in our pyjamas… Hey, I still felt refined!)


Then when all was said and done, we took the train back home (our seats on the return were less comfy, but it was easier to get to the handicapped toilet, so… yay?). It was the Starlight Coastal Express. I got to see some glimpses of coast, though so much of the trip either way was overnight that most of the way you couldn’t see much. The times it was daylight, though, the view was beautiful. On the whole, I prefer train to plane. Airport security scared me enough before they started their latest Draconian crackdown, and you know what? Even without all that ‘security’, I felt so totally safe on the train. So. Yeah. Much less invasive, prettier scenery, some of the seats are quite comfy– even the least comfortable train seats are MILES better than the plane seats, but you have to stay in them longer. It’s a tradeoff I’m comfortable making, anyway.


Plus, it’s a train. I may not be the stereotypical fact-rattling trainspotter, but come on, how can you not like trains? Trains are awesome. It may or may not be, like, genetically coded into me to enjoy them… I couldn’t begin to explain why so many people on the spectrum are fans, I could only tell you why I like them. And even then, I would quickly be reduced to flailing motions and ‘but trains are AWESOME!’. From the old-timey-est of steam engines, to the sleekest Shinkansen. Just somethin’ about ’em.


And then we ate at a waffle house, and came home to get yelled at by the cats.Which is how I wish all my stories ended…



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca N.
    Jan 05, 2011 @ 04:27:44

    You are an exceptionally good writer, cousin of mine! I enjoyed reading your post. You made me want to hitch a ride on a train to Oregon, too.


  2. Wendela
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 03:42:29

    Sounds wonderful! Makes me feel as if I were there! (Oh, wait, I was. But it sounds even better when you write it!) I love the photos, too!


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