We went to my parents' house -- there was some talk of going to the in-laws', which would have been fun, but poor Lala only got Monday and Tuesday off, and that's not enough time to get to Idaho and back.....
But it was awesome -- one of those perfect holidays where no one fights (I got bratty over a game of Taboo, but that's to be expected, right? Those rules are so VAGUE and I LOVE to win), where the turkey is perfect, and the gifts are FANTASTIC. I mean, really, I ended up with a Tiffany necklace (from sister Christy), gorgeous earrings, new computer speakers, and the Nike +iPod running device, all from Lala. (iPod running! It charts your distance, just by clipping into your shoe! Woot!) And the new Jon Katz from Clara. Talk about a thoughtful border collie. And a spinning wheel which I've already enjoyed, from Mom and Dad, and a bunch of other wonderful gifts that I can't remember now that I'm tired and ready for bed. We spent the day driving up the coast, stopping once in Paso Robles to look at fancy western shirts at the Boot Barn (where a couple of Very Straight women looked at us with slightly quizzical gazes -- why was I so comfortable smoothing the shirt lines along Lala's front? Hmmm).
A short, two-day trip, made perfect by the fact that Motel 6 allows dogs and doesn't seem to mind how many you have as long as they're quiet, which they blessedly were (although you're technically only supposed to have just one, the desk clerk only said "whatever" with a shrug when I mentioned she might see us with more than one dog). And out of all the people I saw coming and going out of the Motel 6 rooms, only one room didn't appear to have a dog in tow. People with pet allergies, beware. Pet lovers, take heart.
And who would want to leave Harriet behind, anyway? Not us, that's who.
Lala would like me to add that this is not what her hair normally looks like -- the camera distorts things, friends. Better coif-representation can be found elsewhere on the blog.
I got my wife one of the most un-romantic gifts EVER, a spice rack. But she had been begging for one for Christmas, and she was DEEELIGHTED to receive it. Magnetic, and everything! She actually said that I would have been in trouble had she NOT received it. And here I was feeling stupid about getting something so prosaic. She loved it, taking it out of the box immediately and playing with the lids like she was six and they were tinker-toys. Cute as hell.
I also did well with sister Christy:
I gave her a shiv. Yep, a knife. A wooden one, carved by one of the guys from the Old Crow Medicine Show. He carved it backstage when they were playing in Tahoe with Lala's band, and while her bandmate Camilla had her hands on it for a while, it was headed for the trash when I lifted it at the end of the night. It was meant for Christy. I loved her reaction.
Bethany is getting a stereo for her truck from all of us:
And the little Mama is getting a dryer from us kids. For the first time in her WHOLE LIFE, my mother will use a dryer to dry her clothes. She is pretty happy about it, as she, ahem, hasn't gotten any taller, although I will not say out loud that she has shrunk a tiny bit, and the clothesline that Dad put up in the backyard fifteen years ago, well, those trees are quite a bit taller now, ain't they? Yes, they could lower the clothesline. No, we don't like that solution and approve of Mom staying indoors in the inclement weather. Yay!
And she got socks:
Please ignore Miss Idaho in her party dress, trying to steal the limelight away from the possum/merino socks that the little Mama got for Xmas (patten: generic toe-up, with a lace rose-leaf panel thrown in once the toe is done). Soft, soft, soft, and just what Mom needs -- she had darned the last pair I made until they were screaming for mercy. Just pathetic, for the mother of a Knitter.
And then, of course, we had to go for a Beach Walk. It was a lovely sixty-eight degrees in Pismo Beach, and the dogs were happy to feel the sand between their toes, although they were sad to have to wear their leashes (stupid laws. Whatever).
The sisters were there, too:
Of course, a better, more accurate picture of the proceedings can be seen HERE.
Lala found a quarter! Hooray!
Okay, we're home now, and I'm listening to my FABULOUS new Joan Osborne CD, Pretty Little Stranger. No, really, go check it out. Besides that unfortunate God song that was so unreasonably popular, she has an AMAZING voice, and this is her country/Americana album, produced by Dolly Parton's guy, with backups done by Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Dan Tyminski. It's really great stuff -- old-country sounding, with the warmth and strength of her voice at the front. It's awesome. Another gift.
Yay for Christmas and family and holidays and drives with dogs, especially long drives with small dogs who keep your lap warm. Enjoy the rest of the week, won't you?