I must admit that I'm really missing "home" for the holiday. I always get sad and lonely over here in CA on the Christmases when Sealion works. So I'm bustling around getting things ready for a Christmas I can enjoy here. Today I started with a huge homemade mocha ~ with milk and cream, cocoa and coffee, and cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, and nutmeg. That helped. Now there's Anjali's present (a d-o-l-l ) to put the finishing touches on, molasses sourdough proofing in the sunshine, and a wine glass to be replenished. For dinner: brisket, mashed roots, bread, and a wilted salad. Peanut butter cookies for Santa. Christmas lights sparkling. Very fortunately, Austin is sticking around, so we can cozy up around the fire and be silly together while Papi works his 12 hour shifts.
We met Austin in the city for what has turned into an annual decoration-viewing tradition. We begin at Johnny Foley's Irish House for food and cheer and then tour Union Square ~ with its huge tree, and ice skating rink, and Macy's windows ~ lights and figurines that move and SPCA kittens and puppies up for adoption(!). The grand finale is hot chocolate.
Yippee! I presented my problem to Bloggers "Help Forum",
"I accidentally erased the sidebar while working on the HTML. It shows up when viewing individual entries, but not the blog as a whole.
"hbl" suggested I re-add the gadgets on the Layout>Page Elements page. So...
When I go to the Layout>Page Elements page, all of the gadgets are still there. I clicked on each, saved it again, then clicked View Blog, and still no sidebar. If I click on an individual post's title, then the sidebar shows up."
and eventually Aviatrix's suggestion helped:
I took out the post that caused the problem in the first place! (And then replaced it with a duplicate.)
Now my blog is all better. : )
Well, except that it now has a new color scheme. But I don't mind it that much.
Well, I thought adopting a new template would maybe bring the sidebar back, but it just erased my color scheme. This one will do for now. I have posted a question to the Blogger tech-savvy folks, and hopefully someone will respond, "oh, ha ha ha, you non-tech-savvy blogger! The solution is so simple! ha ha ha!"
If any of you reader friends knows what I can do, please let me know.
I hate working with the HTML anyway (it's all computer-speak letters and numbers and slashes), and when I write a blog from my phone (which I just became capable of), they turn out wonky, so I tried to change it... and seemingly irrevocably erased the sidebar.
I love Christmastime. In spite of my non-Christian anti-materialist self, I gave in to the fact years ago. I don't watch tv, and I can't remember the last time I saw a mall, so I am nicely shielded from the tainted aspects of our culture's stressful and mindless shop-fest. We have even talked most of our family into keeping the gift-giving very pared-down, so that really cuts the stress to the bare minimum. I can simply enjoy the old-fashioned parts ~ lights, music, fires in the fireplace, movies and specials rented from iTunes, and festive feasting with loved ones. Yay!
The Pandora devotee that I am, here are some stations I have been rotating. Vince Gauraldi Trio ~ the Charlie Brown music. I love it. Mostly instrumental, jazzy versions of the classics. Piano-centric. Ukraine Bell Carol ~ classical. Very nice. Sleigh Ride ~ the classics by Dean Martin, Andy Williams, etc.
and a gift from Arlene ~ Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You ~ on the pop end of the spectrum, it warms my heart because it reminds me of Arlene. : ) Mariah really does kick some Christmas song ass.
In trying to be respectful of my housemates, the Christmas music time is selective, and I sneak some in while they're out. That way it doesn't get old for any of us.
As much as I love the mild weather of the Bay Area, I must admit to wishing I saw a snowflake or two out the window. Snow is so magical and so much a part of the Christmas Mystery for me. But I get over that one pretty quick! ;-)
I'm wishing for you a warm cheery beverage (and maybe a cookie), laughter, and singing with people you love.
Remember how I said that after Burning Man this year I came home? Well, it seems I have finally arrived. After years of hermitting and navelgazing, it has taken me some time to 1) realize I was ready to extend into the world around me, 2) peek my head out the door, 3) lick my finger and stick it up into the air to know which way the wind was blowing, 4) point myself in a desired direction, and 5) lift my wings and hop up into the breeze. I've landed! As we headed home from a week of gratitude with family and loved ones, I checked my inbox during our layover. I had (let me see if I can count them all up.. ) .. Six invitations for upcoming events (and these don't even include plans we had made already)! Two mommy-kiddo groups I recently joined discussion lists for: one for Bay Area unschoolers, and one for Berkeley moms and babes who eat in the nourishing traditional fashion, one meeting for a cohousing/ecovillage/homeschooling interest group, a winter party at our local biofuel station/urban farming supply and education center, and two holiday parties at friends' houses! (geez-! Looking at the descriptions it seems as if I'm the really crunchy Berkeley resident I thought I was! ;-) But--) This is my life. This is the life I have fashioned for myself with my family in Berkeley, CA, late 2009. And I know that discussion lists don't necessarily equal friends, and interest groups don't equal community, but they are a start. My start. And that doesn't even include the glowingly warm and bustling homelife that has blossomed for us - because I write about that all the time. I have heard it said that you must go on vacation to remember how much you love where you live. These days I don't even have to leave town (although that's fun in small doses, too), I can just check my inbox - or open my eyes.
I'm here! And it feels like a Grand beginning. :-)
Photo: moonrise over Salt Lake--seconds before, it was reflecting in the lake, but airplanes move fast!