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2007-12-25 - 1:58 p.m.

...A funcouver Christmas...

It's 2pm, and K and I are still in bed. We are sitting up, listening to Handel's Messiah (yesterday was Bach, today is Handel), and playing with laptops. I have caught a cold, and after yesterday's experience with elephantine ankles (HOLY MOLY), I'm playing it cool up here. One good thing about catching a cold - this morning I stayed in bed and actually fell soundly to sleep for the first time in several days. Small blessings.

Sometime in the summer of 1996 or 1997, I went to the mall. It was there that I discovered the last pair of fake birkenstocks was on sale for $9 in a store called American Eagle. The last pair. Of course, even though they were one size too large for me, I bought them anyway. I figured I'd use them as house slippers, or loan them to house visitors who do not share my dwarfish status in footwear. I can honestly state that I was NOT thinking that someday - ten years later, I would be way pregnant, and these fake birkies would be the ONLY pair of shoes in the house that would still fit my feet. Yet, I do think there is something oddly miraculous that this pair of shoes has survived 2-3 intercontinental moves and multiple downsizing efforts. Consider it a fateful Christmas present.

So, yesterday morning, K and I went off to the specialist for my last ultrasound and various exams. I slid my bright red, festive fuzzy socks right into those birkies, and off we went. The specialist looked at me and said, "you look ready." uh huh.

Our morning turned into quite an excursion - doctor, kitchen store, two grocery stores, IK3A, my office - and then home to prepare a Christmas Ukrainian soljanka and some gluehwein for visiting friends. And by the time those friends left, my feet didn't even fit the birkies anymore. I had two flesh-colored marshmallows. It was disgusting.

So I claimed the sofa and wrapped two huge ice packs around them and rested them as high above my head as was possible. K and I exchanged our Christmas gifts and watched the cats have a thrilling time racing through the living room attacking the wrapping paper. I love how cats can make gifts out of anything.

And now we are still in bed - we've made all of the necessary Christmas phone calls wishing family well. And now K has brought up some soljanka for lunch, and a special hot lemon to soothe my cold. And the soljanka has sunk him promptly into a food coma beside me - I'm wondering if I should wake him up for the Queen's Christmas address (I find it oddly quaint to listen to the Queen and then the British anthem while tuned to a Canadian radio broadcast...go Commonwealth? I guess some things are as traditional as those east Canadian pickled beets, the preparation of which was broadcast from some lady's kitchen during yesterday morning's show. Hey. Whatever floats your Canadian boat.).

So I'm still lying in bed, and debating whether or not I should get up and move around a bit. As I look the window, I see that we've been rewarded with a white Christmas, even here in funcouver. So even though there are a number of things I'd like to do - cooking, laundry folding, reading... there is also something strangely attractive about remaining put and enjoying a chance to do nothing. Perhaps the best Christmas present to give oneself...


Bless you Oscar Peterson - you were one of my first jazz heroes. May you rest in peace. (1925-2007)

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