Dixie Darr

Archive for December, 2016|Monthly archive page

The Seventh Day of Christmas and New Year’s Eve

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2016 at 3:49 pm


Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Seventh Day of Christmas and New Year’s Eve

I usually sleep through New Year’s. At my last house, some of my neighbors would shoot guns into the air at midnight, waking me up. “Happy New Year,” I’d mutter before rolling over to go back to sleep. I could also hear the fireworks at Coors Field. The first time I heard that, it sounded as if war had broken out before I figured out what it was. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the show because of all the big trees in the neighborhood.

I never go out on New Year’s Eve because I don’t like crowds, I don’t drink, and I’m generally not much fun. I’d rather stay home and read a book, a statement that’s true for me almost any day.

Which reminds me, I need to go to the library today. Then I’ll spend some time figuring out how I’ll fit everything I want to do next year into my days of reading, eating, and sleeping. And petting my cat.


The Sixth Day of Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 8:38 pm


Friday, December 30, 2016

The Sixth Day of Christmas

A day of running errands, having lunch with a friend, and enjoying the lovely weather. Tomorrow is the last day of the year, one I am not sorry to see go, and the beginning of a quick decline into the deep freeze for the first week of 2017.

I found this quotation from Neil Gaiman and decided to adopt it as my inspiration for the New Year. I will definitely be focusing on making things this year, writing and drawing, hoping and praying for a little magic and a few surprises along the way.

The Fifth Day of Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2016 at 5:46 am

teddyThursday, December 29, 2016

It’s Over

Only five days into the twelve days of Christmas and I am so over it. Taking down my decorations will have to wait for the weekend, but I’m ready. The only thing I will miss is the glow from the tree lights set on an automatic timer to come on early in the morning and go off late at night. I may plug a lamp into the timer to continue lighting my way. I have some favorite glass ornaments that I keep out all year long, and my Starbucks teddy bear will stick around because I like her little Uggs.

Otherwise, off to storage with you. See you next year.

The Fourth Day of Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 28, 2016 at 5:08 pm


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Fourth Day of Christmas

Tendrils of Christmas continue to twine around my life. I’ve received a few lagging Christmas cards and ate ham and beans made from my Christmas ham for lunch. I finished reading a cozy mystery published on December 25 from one of my favorite authors, and best of all, I’m waiting for delivery of my new computer, not exactly a Christmas present from myself, but close enough. No calling birds this fourth day of Christmas, although Radley would really love to have some to chase around.

The Third Day of Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm


No French Hens Here

My mind begins to turn toward the new year. Everything I think of for a New Year’s Resolution requires a learning project, so learning will have to be my theme.

First up is drawing. I was an art major my first year of college, not because I fancied myself an artist but because interior design was in the art department. I could have majored in interior decoration, but that was in the home economics department, and there was no way I would take classes there. Ugh.

Anyway, I learned about color theory, yet never got very good at drawing.

Now I have a couple of projects yet to be revealed that will require some ability in drawing. My general dislike of people (no offense) prevents taking a class, either online or in real life, so I plan to make my own class using the classic book Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain and YouTube videos based on the book. More goals to come.

The Second Day of Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm


Monday, December 26, 2016

The Second Day of Christmas

The British call it Boxing Day; author Diane Greenwood Muir says today is Napping Day; to me, it’s Back to Reality Day, although based on my behavior of taking two naps today (so far), I should go with Diane’s terminology.

It’s all over but the cleaning up and putting away. I won’t take down my decorations until next weekend, and I’ll try to enjoy my trees and teddy bears and music for the next several days. My house always feels sad and bare when everything is packed up and back in my storage unit. I won’t think about that yet. The rush up to Christmas always goes so fast. For a month all we do is prepare and then suddenly, it’s over. For now, I have thank you notes to write and ham to stew for ham and beans.

The First Day of Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2016 at 6:13 am


Sunday, December 25, 2016

The First Day of Christmas

Having Christmas fall on a Sunday presents a dilemma for some churches, falling as it does the morning after the big Christmas Eve services, so they cancel their regular Sunday morningworship. Several years ago, our previous pastor wanted to do just that, but I and some other members of our congregation protested. The pastor relented and we had an informal breakfast potluck and hymn sing on Christmas morning.
It just didn’t seem right to not have church on the day we celebrate the very reason for having church. I’m glad our current pastor agrees. We had a regular, though informal, service this morning with cinnamon rolls afterwards. Three services yesterday and another one this morning meant extra work for our staff and minister, and I’m grateful that they were willing to give us this gift.

My Literary Advent Calendar, the Last Day

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2016 at 4:18 pm


Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Memory

When I was almost four, and my brother was five, we celebrated our first Christmas in Denver. Santa came to visit us driving a convertible and bringing oranges. Until we were in our late fifties, and Dad explained it to us, we thought this had happened in Des Moines. Santa, it turned out, was our neighbor, Jack. Even with the mystery revealed, That is my favorite Christmas memory.
In his short story, A Christmas Memory, Truman Capote writes of his most cherished childhood tradition, making fruitcakes with his best friend, a distant cousin in her sixties who is still a child herself. Money is scarce during the Depression, so they hold rummage sales, sell jars of homemade jam, jelly and preserves, enter contests, and once held a Freak Museum in the backyard woodshed. The freak was a three-legged chicken. All this money they put into the Fruitcake Fund, which they keep hidden under a loose floorboard under the bed.

When fruitcake weather arrives, they set off with a dilapidated baby carriage to gather pecans. The next day they set off to buy “cherries and citron, ginger and vanilla and canned Hawaiian pineapple, rinds and raisins and walnuts and whiskey oh, so much flour, butter, so many eggs, spices, flavorings: why, we’ll need a pony to pull the buggy home.”

They make thirty-one cakes for friends and “people who’ve struck our fancy. Like President Roosesvelt. Like the Reverend and Mrs. J. C. Lucey, Baptist missionaries to Borneo who lectured here last winter. Or the little knife grinder who comes through town twice a year.”

Reading this story on Christmas Day has been one of my traditions for twenty or more years. I have two books, one illustrated, and a cassette tape of the story. You can also find audio and video versions on YouTube.

Speaking of traditions, I’m making chili for my supper tonight and then I’m headed to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at my church.

Merry Christmas everybody.

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Twenty-Seven

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2016 at 7:44 pm


Friday, December 23, 2016

Los Posadas

Several years ago, I found a beautiful pop-up book called Christmas Around the World and bought it for all my friends. It tells that throughout most of Latin America, people reenact the Christmas story by going from house to house seeking shelter. The tradition of Los Posadas (the Inns) continues for nine days prior to Christmas and ends on Christmas eve at a life-size manger scene.

Celebrations include feasts, fireworks, church bells, pinatas, and flowers. Simple or elaborate nativity scenes, or nacimientos form the core of home decorations. In Tenorio Flat, the 1950s hispanic neighborhood of Santa Fe where author Dorothy Pillsbury lived, her neighbors decorated the deep windows in their adobe houses with homemade Christmas scenes.

The Melendez casita was one of the poorest in the neighborhood. A Melendez ancestor “carved out funny fat little sheep and oxen and lop-eared burritos. He made a rough little manger. He made his dear familiars, the saints . . . . Mrs. Melendez places all the figures in the green forest of her geranium plants” and keeps a single candle burning.

What would you put in your Christmas window? What symbols mean Christmas to you?

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Twenty-Six

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2016 at 7:31 am


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Something’s Coming

Enough of the gloom and doom. We’re looking forward to something wondrous, yet the hymns we sing for Advent are almost without exception cheerless and dark. Here’s a song that I think we should sing this time of the year. Can’t you feel the excitement? Aren’t you happy and eagerly looking forward to the big day?

Here’s a link if you want to listen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu7sRdRrm_w

Full disclosure, the original Broadway cast album was the first album I ever bought.

Could be!
Who knows?
There’s something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
Open the latch!
Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
Catch the moon,
One-handed catch!

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It’ll be there!

Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .

Music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.