Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Look Down

"Don't Look Down" is a song on Tom Russell's release, "Blood and Candle Smoke." I first heard it on Bob Edwards' Weekend.

It's an anthem for moving on - from a job, relationship, belief, or anything else. I've decided "Don't Look Down" is the perfect theme song as I leave 2009 behind.

I am profoundly changed by the events of this year. There are some things I am eager to leave behind, but also things I'll carry with me, tucked safely in my heart, for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, some of the same things stretch across both categories, so I have to figure out how to manage that challenge. It has been a year with much grief and much gratitude.

I don't think I've ever been inspired to write down the lyrics to a song, but I made an exception with this one. It has too many wonderful turns of phrase to be ignored, and the metaphors speak to me.

Of course, you can't get the full effect without hearing Tom Russell sing it. So, go forth and get your own copy.

Don't Look Down
by Tom Russell

Have I been too far
Have I seen too much
Working in the shadows
of the big ferris wheel

Spend 10,000 nights
in these sawdust and mud shows
I been walking that tightrope
for a room and a meal

I said don't look down
the ground might be burning
we're turning the corner now
we might run into God

From the plains of the buffalo
to the wild dogs of Mexico
and the loves that have laid us low
You gotta leave that behind.

Oh the rhymes of the ranges
and the kindness of strangers
I have run all the changes
of the Chickasaw waltz

Tasted lipstick and nylons
seen your mental asylms
turned my back on that violence
before it turned into song

I said don't look down
Lord the ground might be burning
we're all turning the corner now
We might run into God

From the rivers of Idaho
to the wild dogs of Mexico
and the loves that have laid us low
You gotta leave that behind.

Saint Mary, mother of patience
Saint Joseph of the hammer and the nail
Come build me a ladder to the heart of the matter
high above the moon tonight on the carnival trail

She stood in the corner
right next to her mother
Sir Douglas her brother
since she was a child
and the difference in years
and people's cheap fear
and their matinée tears
drove us into the wild.

I said don't look down
the ground might be burning
we're all turning the corner now
we might run into God

From the plains of the buffalo
to the wild dogs of Mexico
and the loves that have laid us low
You gotta leave that behind.

Don't Look Down
Don't Look Down
Don't look down
You gotta leave that behind.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some After Christmas Shopping

It wasn't in the plans. It just happened.

How many stories start out that way?

Of course, they often involve teenagers in cars. This one involves a car, but that's where the similarity ends.

Coming back from Joplin last night I wanted to get out of the car and walk as a preventive measure to avoid blood clots. It was cold, so we stopped at a Walmart - nicely heated to walk around a bit.

Now, the week after Christmas, where do you think I'm going to go in a Walmart?


But the part of the story that's missing is that this Walmart had marked the ornaments down to fifty cents a box. Yes. Fifty cents. And they had some cool things.

Now I have some cool things.

And so does Greg.

I wanted to get some things for the Cosmosphere, but we literally ran out of room, so I went back today to get some goodies for work.

Today it was a frenzy so I'm glad I didn't delay. And today I had a van, which meant I didn't have the same problem I had last night.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

60,000 Thoughts

Experts say we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. Unfortunately, about 95% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday.

I think this is one of the reasons I need a lot of "new" in my life. I want to think about different things. One of the ways to do this is gather new information, and then use that to form new concepts.

You would think the internet would make it very easy to find new information, and it does to some degree. But, finding the jewels of information you want can be somewhat difficult. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who has noticed this or not, but there's a lot of junk online. I find myself turning to the printed word more and more when I am seeking.

I love those little "tidbits," the unexpected information you find when reading. You might be reading about thermal dynamics and suddenly find a reference to something totally different dropped in. (I haven't been reading about thermal dynamics, you understand, I'm just using that as an example. I wouldn't want you to get the wrong impression.)

Like most people, I tend to read the same sorts of things over and over. That, also, is a problem because I'm taking in the same kind of information all the time.

One of my favorite parts of our library is the "New Books" section. It's like a mini library you can browse fully in a few steps. I often spend time there just pulling a book off the shelf - something I would never think to check out - and leafing through it. Sometimes you find a little gem here or there, or you confirm you're really just not the sort of person who is interested in Early American Furniture Building with Period Tools. (Truth be told, I am interested in that, I'm just not able to do it.)

Increasing the chance of having new thoughts is a daily goal for me. Now, if only there were a calculator for such things so I could keep track.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

"When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground."

African proverb

New Media and Traditional Media

I was reading an article in the New York Times about how fashion designers are embracing new media. You might be asking yourself if I have suddenly become a fashion devotee, but a quick look at my latest photos would dispel that thought quickly. No, I found the link on twitter and thought it looked like an interesting story about social media. And it is.

The gist of the story is that designers understand the benefits of giving new media, like bloggers, prime press locations at shows, and that traditional media sometimes doesn't like that. They mention traditional media is trying to work within the structure of new media and that they sometimes fail to understand the culture and have a "generational disconnect."

They offer the following as an example: "(From “Dating Tips: Why It’s Important to Get That Number.”)" When I read that I had to think for a moment about what they were talking about. Number? Of course they mean phone number, but it took me some time to make that connection. The phone is not how I would necessarily choose to connect with someone. In fact, my phone is used far more for facebook, twitter, texting and emailing more than talking. Of course, if I wanted to text I would need the number, but they'd give me that number through some other method.

It wasn't a conscious decision for me to become a "new media" person instead of a "traditional media" one, it just happened. The technology went one way and I went with it. I wasn't driving it there, I was just riding along.

But as I'm always telling people when I teach social media - technology doesn't go backwards. Once there's a cool thing we can do, we're going to do it. The trick is to find a way to make it better so I want to pay for it (iTunes), or capitalize on the mere fact that thousands of people want to do it (Facebook/Twitter). The world certainly looks different these days. No question about that.

There are so many ways traditional and new media could benefit from each other's approaches, but there would have to actually be communication for that. And, that's difficult if one is talking on the phone and one is texting.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

White Christmas

It counts as a white Christmas if it's white from ice instead of snow, right? In Joplin, Missouri ice fell from the sky for about six or seven hours, and now it's snowing. So, it's definitely going to be a white Christmas.

Greg and I were looking forward to Midnight Mass, but it is just too bad to get out. So, we're watching Miracle on 34th Street and enjoying hanging out in the warm house.

I hope you're having a fabulous Christmas Eve and that it will turn into a magical Christmas Day.

Happy Birthday to Me

This was a really fun birthday and I appreciate everyone who made it that way. It had a number of highlights... in rough order of their occurrences:

1. Dozens of good wishes from friends on Facebook, including long-time dear friends with fun references even going back to high school and college years. And even from my favorite 19 year old on the planet - BC. These started a couple of days ago and continue today - no need to stop as far as I'm concerned - I'm not fixated on an actual day on the calendar.

2. A call from my friend, Ralf, in Germany, with his daughters - ages 8 and 12 - singing Happy Birthday over the phone. Needless to say, their English is much better than my German, which is non-existent.

3. A surprise visit from Cleta, bearing gifts, no less, including the personalized bottle of germ-x which I just think is hilarious and perfect.

4. Birthday cards in the mail. Mail is always fun and special.

5. Travel/shopping/dinner/Christmas light looking/laughing with Greg.

All in all a great birthday. Facebook has certainly changed the face of birthday wishes forever - in a good way. I was very impressed that Ralf and Cleta remembered, even though neither is on Facebook.

It occurred to me only this morning that we never got around to eating any cake and/or ice cream - an easily rectified situation. I'm almost always travelling on Dec. 23 - my birthday - and rarely get to even have a real meal, much less cake and ice cream, so I didn't even think about it. This sounds suspiciously like something I can use to justify sugar consumption the rest of the holiday season.

Whatever your part was in my birthday celebration, I appreciate it. Thank you!

I feel perpetually 28, but the calendar tells another story. It's nice to have that jolt of reality smoothed over with pleasantness from various directions.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Letter

As I've mentioned, my entire Christmas prepartion system fell apart this year. So, I'm still sending cards - or so I say, anyway. In reality, I think it's more likely I have a bunch of cards to use next year.

I'm flattered that some folks have mentioned they missed my annual Christmas letter. I suspect this may be nothing more than a generous kindness in the holiday season, but I've decided to take it seriously nonethelss. So, if you want to see it, here's a link. Enjoy!

Christmas Letter 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are You Living Your Dreams or Your Fears

People work harder to avoid what they fear than to seek what they desire. That has been proven multiple times in different studies.

This begs the obvious question: Are you living your life to avoid what you fear or achieve what you desire?

For at least two decades I've been asking almost everyone I meet two questions.
1. What do you want - what have you never had enough of - what do you dream of having?
2. What frightens you - wakes you up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, frightens you?

The answers cover a huge range, and it's apparent many people have no idea what they want, much less what they fear, which is no doubt a larger force in their lives. If we can't answer those questions, how can we make wise choices? How can we consciously steer in the direction of dreams if we're unconsciously hampered by the what frightens us?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blizzard Warning

As you may recall, I have a new phone. One of the first things I downloaded from the android marketplace was the weather channel application.

Today it showed me the temperature was 45, but in the same panel was a little square. A red square with an exclamation point inside it. You know this can't be good news. Is good news ever hearalded by a red box with an exclamation point inside it?

When you touch the little red box, you get a notice that there's a blizzard warning. Yes, a blizzard warning.

There's a certain criteria for a blizzard. I can't recite it all, but lets just sum it up by saying lots of snow and wind, combining for near whiteout conditions. That's what's headed for us. On Dec. 23/24. Happy Birthday to me.

Needless to say, many people's travel plans are being changed, even as we speak/write/read.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Season Saturday

This is what a very happy girl looks like. Why was I so happy? Well, many reasons, not the least of which I was eating dinner next to The Jolly Old Elf himself.

Okay, it was only a likeness of him. But it's a vintage Christmas decoration and that's more than cool enough for me. Look at those rosy cheeks, that droll little mouth and his twinkling eyes.

This was the cap to our Christmasy evening. Greg and I went to the luminaria display in Hyde Park earlier in the evening.

This neighborhood, with many beautiful old homes, does this every year the Saturday before Christmas. I love it when it falls like this, with some days between that Saturday and Christmas.

Many people also do lots of other decorating, which is great.

A couple of my favorite displays were on roofs and balconies.

It was a great Christmasy evening. We had cider and cookies, visited with the real Santa, ran into friends, listened to live music, and then capped it off with a great dinner. Wonderful Saturday evening!

Thanks to Greg for most of the photos. He appropriated my camera almost immediately so other than a couple of brief times, it was not in my possession. But, of course, he takes better photos than I do anyway. And, he's willing to get out in the cold more often than I am. Probably for the best that he had the camera. You might check out for more of his great photos.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Toy Trains Today

I love this photo I shot this morning on my phone of the set up for today's event at the Cosmosphere. The Wichita Toy Train Club is at the Cosmosphere from noon to 6 today with an elaborate model train setup stretching over nine tables. I was taking some photos of the setup and love that in this one the train is a blur because it's in motion. Very cool.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum Victorian Christmas

The Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum hosted a presentation on Victorian Christmas last weekend. Joyce Suellentrop led us through the Wichita Cottage that was decorated for Christmas.

I was enchanted with the tree decorations.

Don't you love this tree topper?

Suellentrop first pointed out that the Victorian era is an English and American event. We don't think of an "Italian Victorian Era" for example. I had never thought of it that way, but of course she's correct.

The creation of our "American Christmas" extends from the 1800s to the first World War she said. That's when we were forming traditions and adopting those of other nations. Prior to that time, July 4th was the most important holiday in America.

Christmas was a religious observance, celebrated by the family. The feast aspect of it came into being after Isabelle Beeton's "The Book of Household Management." The tree became the number one symbol of the holiday and was decorated generally on Christmas Eve, as their Christmas season would begin on Christmas Day and extend for the 12 Days of Christmas. The number two symbol of the holidays would have been the plum pudding.

"A Christmas Carol" and "The Night Before Christmas" were important in forming our ideas about the holiday.

Suellentrop mentioned a reference to a "Subscription Dance" in Wichita in 1870, where everyone brought a present and then left with one at the end of the night. The gift was the "subscription." The announcement said it would go on until the candles burned down or the sun came up.

Other milestones she mentioned:
1880 Woolworth was selling tinsel (Jami said the tinsel on the tree is very heavy)
1860-70 Christmas card from Prang
1850 articles about the stress of the holidays
1840 were suggestions to feed the homeless at the holidays

The feasts at Christmas generally involved oysters of some sort. In 1880, an older gentleman was asked about the first Christmas in Wichita, which was 1868/69. He didn't remember that, but remembered the Christmas of 1870 and said it was the first time oysters had been in Wichita and they were $1 a can.

The one thing you won't find are older recipes for cookies, because most of them needed sugar. They depended on molasses or honey for sweetener.

Ladies Home Journal in 1887 gave a sample menu for the holiday. It listed 14-20 dishes including peas served in turnip cups, ginger syrup, plum pudding and hard sauce, oysters on the half shell and turkey with chestnut stuffing.

There was a letter to Santa Claus, which referred to Montgomery Ward as "Monkey Ward" but went on to say that the father didn't approve of them using slang.

It was a very Christmasy afternoon and I highly recommend a visit to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. They have another display of miniature trees up for the holiday season.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Events vs. Processes

I've been thinking today about events vs. processes.

Events are pretty easy. There's a beginning, middle and end. You can often plan for them. They happen, and they're over, and you move on. That's not to say you're not changed by them, because you certainly can be. But, they're distinct, not ongoing.

Processes require a different kind of work. The landscape is continually shifting, requiring you to adjust as you go along. You can't plan much in a process, and what you do plan is likely to be little more than an amusing joke for the gods.

Meeting someone is an event, but having a relationship is a process. Being hired for a new job is an event, but learning the work place is a process. Getting a new gadget is an event, but using it is a process.

The last few months of my life have involved a great deal of process. I think I need a better balance of events and processes. The trick is to not confuse the two.

Obviously, there's much here for me to think about.

Quote of the Day

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
--- Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hope you find some of that childhood wonder of Christmas this year. It's what I love about the holidays - we all have a chance to weave magic into our lives for a short time. Take advantage of the opportunity. It comes but once a year as the famous say words say.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Being Engaged

For 2010 I am choosing a word to frame the year. I'm choosing "engaged," to remind me to be totally engaged in whatever I'm doing.

I've been thinking about this concept of "being engaged" for awhile. When we're fully engaged in anything it's much more likely to be meaningful. Maybe it's with another person, or maybe it's with an event. Regardless, to get the most out of anything, we need to put ourselves into it completely. We must be totally engaged.

So, for the next year I'm going to try to remember to be engaged in whatever I'm doing. I think it may be difficult to do at times. But, my guess is that it will make it easier to say "no" to some things that are on the periphery of my life.

I think being engaged will change the way I view the world and my place in it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Long Day

It has been a long day. I was very tired today and had to work at pushing through the day, but I made it. It's hard to believe Christmas is next week. I'm used to being nearly two months into my Christmas season by now so it seems like it has been very short to me.

Tonight was Creative Sisterhood and it was very nice to see folks.

Tomorrow is a full day at work so I'd best get soms sleep. I've got on two layers of clothes and the heat up but I'm still cold. I hope I can sleep.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jami and Victorian Christmas and Vintage Paper and Presents and a Christmasy Day

This is Jami. I really, really like Jami.

We had lunch today in Wichita, and it was great to have time to visit with her. I went over to attend a presentation on Victorian Christmas at the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Society, which was fabulous.

There was information on the Victorian era. And information on Christmas in the Victorian era, complete with Christmas ornaments.

Can you imagine how happy I was?

Jami brought me some wonderful presents - delicious tea and a tea strainer with a holly leaf decoration. Is that not perfect?

To top it off, she had wrapped it in vintage Christmas paper, and included a vintage card. Oh my goodness, I love it oh so much. I couldn't wait to share it with you.

I opened the presents very carefully so as to save the paper. I think I may frame one of these pieces and hang it on the wall. Would that not make a cool piece of art?

The extra benefit of this, that Jami may not even realize, is that she has provided me with the last piece of permission I needed to keep buying wrapping paper myself. I love wrapping paper and although I have a theme every year, seem to buy enough paper for 2-4 themes each year. But, now I realize that if I keep it long enough, it will be vintage, too.

At the end of the day, before coming home, I went to Botanica to see their Christmas display. It was very cool. I didn't walk all the paths because some were on uneven ground and I'm being extra, extra careful to not jar myself in any way. But I walked the paved areas. I'm still moving slowly but I am moving.

Overall a very Christmasy day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I generally send about 300 Christmas cards. This year I'm sending considerably fewer - not because I'm feeling less festive, but because I'm not doing my usual entertaining. I'm always sending them early because they include party invitations. This year since I'm not doing that I was very laid back about getting any cards out. And, it seems less important to send them to folks I see regularly anyway.

I just mailed the first bunch of cards today. I have some others to do, but I'm glad to have at least gotten started. I seem to be moving slower with everything this season.

Of course, because I'm not using my regular system I suspect I'll be still sending them into the new year as I think of other people I want to send them to. Maybe I'll ust have to cross out "Merry Christmas" and put in "Happy New Year."


We got tickets to go see Billy Joel and Elton John in Wichita in March. We were on multiple computers and couldn't even get into the system, much less actually buy tickets.

So, Greg suggested I just go to Dillons, that's a select a seat outlet. He said, "So, are you dressed." I answered, "yes," and I was - in the sense that I was wearing clothes. But, again, I was out in public in my flannel pajamas. I'm not proud, but there's the truth.

However, I was glad I didn't wait because I was not exactly the first person in line by the time I got there. But, we got tickets.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Meeting Barbara

A couple of days ago I had a wonderful surprise - meeting Barbara. I was out shopping for some things for work and was in the checkout line at Goodwill when someone said, "Excuse me, are you Patsy Terrell?" This happens every once in a while because people will recognize me from Kansas Country Living, or from a board or event, or sometimes they'll even remember my voice from my radio days.

In this instance it was none of those things - it was a blog reader! It was so fun to meet Barbara. She said a friend sent her something from the blog, and she subscribed and started reading along.

I can't tell you how flattered I am by that - on both levels - that someone forwarded something and that Barbara started reading regularly.

We had a nice chat and then she even helped me out with my purchases because I was going to have to make two trips since I can't lift very much at a time. It was lovely to meet Barbara and I asked who forwarded her something. It was Mary Lou, who I met through a different Barbara, that I met when doing a presentation on blogging at the library, where I also met Kristine. Whew! Life is a circle sometimes, huh? But isn't that fun?

Regardless of how it all happened, I'm delighted to have all these folks in my life - in whatever way works.

I thanked Barbara for coming over and introducing herself. Sometimes people will email me later and say, "I think I saw you at Dillon Nature Center today... was that you?" Of course, the problem with that is that I didn't get to meet them. So far no one has emailed asking if it was me when it wasn't. I love to connect with folks, so it's always fun for me. The moral of this story is, please don't hesitate to say hello if you see me out and about.

Barbara - it was lovely to meet you! And thank you for introducing yourself. Mary Lou, thank you for making it possible for me to meet Barbara.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


We had our first real snowfall last night and this morning. I'm fortunate to live next door to Bob and Ruth, whose front yard offers plenty of photo opportunities.

This feathery plant in my own front yard was holding onto the snow.

Today is the first day I've really missed having a window in my office. I couldn't look out and see the snow today and that was sad, because I do love snow. It was nasty enough I didn't go out for lunch so it was a long day. When I left about 5:30 I had another couple of inches of snow on my car.

But, of all the scenes I saw this morning, one of the most beautiful was this...

Sharon and Greg arrived just as I was about to leave for work to shovel my sidewalk and driveway. Is that not the nicest thing?

Sharon came over at 5 and did it again. I'm not sure what I did to deserve such kindness, but I'm very grateful.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Surprise from Deb

I got a lovely surprise today that I want to share with you. It even came with beautiful green tissue paper.

Last week I got a slip in the mailbox that I had a package. I didn't get a chance to get it until today at lunch. When I picked up the box it was light, and I thought, "oh... I bet it's a Christmas ornament."

I recognized the name on the return address as a blog reader - Deb from Topeka. We have met a couple of times at events and she's wonderful in person. She has done other fun, surprising things for me, so I knew the package would be delightful, but I was not at all expecting what I found.

Inside was this ornament Deb had made and a lovely, lovely note. She had been behind on blog reading due to computer issues and when she recently had a chance to catch up was surprised to read about the recent surgery. She said it occurred to her that not being able to put up my usual tree might result in some "holiday dreariness" for me so she was inspired to make me "a surprise that might hold some delight and share back some of the joy your tree has given to me these years."

Is that not the nicest thing?

She decked out the tree, added some stars and packages (two of my favorite things!), and painted the inside to mimic the glow of lights the tree gives off. She even added a fabric scrap underneath it that picks up the idea of wood floors.

I am so touched by Deb's thoughtfulness and her nice note. I took it into the restaurant today with lunch for Greg, and he loved it.

I love things people make. It's so special when someone gives of themselves that way. Deb put so much work into the detail on this. I'm so incredibly flattered by Deb's gift. It already has a place of honor on the tree. Thank you, Deb.

Tiger Woods Overload

I'm officially sick of hearing about Tiger Woods. Admittedly, I wasn't eager to hear about him a decade ago, but since his accident I've heard way more than I wanted. Let me clear up the story for you so we can all move on:

1. People don't have accidents and refuse to speak to the police unless they have something to hide. That may include, but is not limited to:
a. being impaired due to alcohol
b. being impaired due to drugs (legal or illegal)
c. being involved in a domestic dispute of some sort that will look very ugly for your image

2. People cheat on their spouses. This is not something unique to celebrities, but they simply have more opportunity for it. I'm about to incur the wrath of some, but many men are likely to cheat when presented with the opportunity to do it and not get caught, and self-respecting women don't give married men the opportunity. This would include but not be limited to:
a. trying to seduce them
b. saying anything other than "no" when they try to seduce you

This should not be construed to mean that I think all men cheat. I do not. And men do not have a corner on that market, either.

3. Tiger isn't very smart. If you're a celebrity, someone is going to brag about bedding you. He isn't alone in this fantasy that such things can remain private, he is just the latest in a long line of those caught with their pants down, as it were. Which, again, begs the question of why it's news. It's an old story - cross out last celebrity's name, write in "Tiger."

So, to recap - stupid move, impaired judgement on multiple levels, scorned wife wielding weapon. What more needs be said?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas Homes Tour in Hutchinson Kansas

Today was the Houston Whiteside Christmas Homes Tour. And, we got a little snow to set the mood. Truthfully, it was more like sleet, but I'm choosing to call it snow because that is much more atmospheric sounding.

One of the houses had live music from a high school group.

My favorite house had a room decorated with old Santas. I chatted with the guy who owned them for awhile, thinking I should know him. Finally, we figured out where we knew each other from. He was not the home owner, but helped them decorate the "Santa Room."

I loved this Gale Santa, sitting on the bed.

And this one that still works.

He plugged it in so I could get a little video of him moving.

There were others from his collection around the room.

In another house they were using their collections on trees - one was spoons and another was old hankies.

I love seeing these beautiful old homes, but I always want more Christmas decorations. Of course, that's always a given for me at any time. This was the best year as far as decorations. The Santa collection really made the day for me.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Tree is Finished

I finished my tree today. Although it's not my typical kind of tree, it's pretty. I'm glad I did one. Years ago I got the idea in my head that not putting up a Christmas tree was something for "old" people.

Have you ever noticed how older people often say, "I'm not putting up a tree..." or "I won't be here at Christmas..." Well, I've only spent Christmas Day in my own house once in my adult life, but I still want to enjoy the season and a sparkly tree. Anyway, that got stuck in my head - no Christmas tree is an "old" thing.

I know lots of people don't put up trees, and the reasons are varied, but in my mind for anyone who's an adult - not a college student or in transistion of one sort or another - deciding to not put up a tree is an "old" thing. And I'm just too young to be "old" yet.

So, although I couldn't do my usual decorating this year, I'm very happy to have my little six foot tree up.

I've noticed in just the last 2-3 days that I'm feeling significantly better, which is great. I'm not pain free yet, and I still move slowly, but I am just feeling better in general.

Tomorrow is the Houston Whiteside Homes Tour and I had thought I might not go because I'm not climbing stairs yet, but now I'm thinking maybe I'll go and just do the lower floors of houses. It seems a shame to miss out completely. And I love to see the decorations and the older homes.

I had hoped to go to Wichita today to see the lights at Botanica. But, it didn't work out to do that after all. I took advantage of the afternoon to work on a lot of things around the house and to return some things. Then Greg, Sharon and I went to see Planet 51.

I definitely recommend it. It's a cute movie. I think maybe we were the only adults without children in tow, but it was fun, and had a lot of in jokes included.