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First off, I follow the blog of a lady who lives in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland.  (‘Twas she who turned me on to the seal cam which is currently off line until around November of next year, which is when the seals will be giving birth to next year’s pups.)  She had this video up on her blog, and it’s just too gorgeous not to share.  Views of the sea for all you inlanders like me (600 miles inland here), beautiful photography of the Orkneys in all their scenic splendor, and the music is just gorgeous.

The music is “Saylon Dola” by a British group called “Chameleon” from the eponymous album.  I’m such a sucker for beautiful voices singing in harmony.

And while we’re on the subject of the holidays, this video sort of captures what I like best about them — feasting with friends and family.

Mom had some people over Thursday, all folks we’ve known quite a while.  Lasagna and salad and some of my favorite people.  A good time was had by all.  As usual, I stayed after and helped mom clean up.  She used her silver flatware which has to be washed and dried by hand, and she hand-washed  the stuff there wasn’t room for in the dishwasher (she sat 10 to dinner) because my mom would not leave it sit dirty waiting for the load in the dishwasher to be done  . . . which is pretty much my mom in a nutshell.  But, as I remarked to her, while she’s washing and I’m drying — the silver flatware has to be carefully and completely dried — we have time to talk.

My mom loves to entertain, and she sets such a beautiful table.   She’s old school, from back in the day when you had to have “proper entertaining  things” like china and crystal, and silver, nice table cloths and napkins, chafing dishes and special dishes for things.  Nobody does that kind of entertaining anymore.  In a way, it’s a shame.  It’s nice to have an occasion you dress up especially for, and use nice things especially for.

I’ve spent most of the evening with a kitty curled up on my chest.   It’s a good thing I’m a touch typist, typing what I hear, because there were times (when she decided to stand up and stretch, and walk around a bit before settling back down) I couldn’t see around her.  Having kitty snuggles is one of the perks of working from home, along with being able to wear warm comfy stuff and have a laprobe on and type while sitting in a recliner and eating at my desk. . .    Baby girl turned 10 this year.  How time flies.  The black one has been unusually vocal tonight.  You’d think from his size he’d have a basso profundo, but he’s got this high treble yeow! of a meow.  Funny.   The white one sings all the time, but the black one doesn’t so much.

I want a small piece of knitting to take with me when my mom and I go on our trip to Houston — I won’t be able to knit in the car while we’re going — seeing as how I’m driving!   but I want something that’s small and not complicated that will keep my hands busy while we’re sitting and talking — as I’m sure we will be doing.  At the knitting group Christmas party, we all took an inexpensive knitting- or crochet-related gift, drew numbers and took our pick, either from the unchosen gifts, or we could “steal” a gift somebody before us had gotten — but a gift could only be “stolen” once.  My friend S got a gift that had the cutest little rose pink beret in it, which would have looked darling on her — and it got “stolen” —  I thought I might get a skein of rose colored knitting worsted and do a little beret for her.  As I’ve said before those of us who love knitting, don’t need a reason to knit — we knit because we love to knit.  What we need are excuses to knit.  This would be a good excuse.  It would be small enough to tuck in my purse and carry around.  Either a beret, or one of those necklette things