Or not. Yes, it's been a while and I've got lots of things to muse about, but I got nervous about how much, so I'm breaking my thoughts for the past month into tasty bite-size pieces, strewn about in no particular order but starting with the holidays... both kids got to light menorahs for the first time this year, though of course I hovered nervously next to Becky, who will probably need lifelong adult supervision with burning objects and anything sharper than a butter knife. No mishaps, though.
On the extended-family front, my brother F. decided sort of at the last minute to come out for a week or so with the family. They stayed with my father and S., who had made plans months earlier to go to the Caribbean as they usually do at Christmas so as to avoid the whole holiday-cheer-and-gift-giving-hell that is Christmas for them. So F. and the gang saw them for all of two days and then stayed on in their empty house, which worked out well, since if the five of them (including three boys age six and under) had stayed with us, there would have been a smoking crater where our house used to be. Case in point: they came over to play and have dinner every day, including the day when the HDTV was delivered. Ben and F. took it out of the box and laid it on the floor as they read the instructions. Eventually it was mounted on the wall, whereupon we noticed a suspicious little shape on the screen. Yes, one of the kiddies had STOOD ON THE SCREEN as the TV lay face-up on the floor. Fortunately it still worked; it would have been tough to explain to the company when we tried to return it ("Yeah, it arrived damaged! I don't know how it could have happened!").
The highlight of the whole interlude was a short trip to Okemo. With much trepidation I put both girls in full-day ski school, expecting a call on my cell at any time saying "Becky is in full meltdown mode because she's rather too klutzy to stand up on skis -- please come and take her far away from here." But no. They both LOVED it, including Becky, even though her teacher (a super-nice retired elementary school principal) tactfully noted that "she never gave up!" Sarah, meanwhile, advanced several levels and is probably destined for the giant slalom in the 2024 Winter Olympics. And me? The person who was on skis maybe four times in her life, the last time being sometime during the Carter Administration? (OK, except for two years ago in upstate New York when I took my first lesson). I took a group lesson and... did great! I was the star of the class! I beamed with pride as my teacher patted me on the head! OK, so there were two other students and they didn't even speak English that well, but I'll take it. By the afternoon I was taking the quad lift with Ben to the very top of the mountain and skiing down blue and green trails, and having fun doing it. It's beautiful up there. Much less crowded, plus there were all sorts of trees and shit, and the branches and needles were coated with snow from the foggy mist. So now I'm all into it and can't wait to go again. Like we need another sinkhole for discretionary income... but the combination of skiing for a few hours and then cooking a bit pot of pasta while swilling beer by the fire in the condo with the whole gang was very very fun.
More tidbits in coming days...