HodgePodge Holidaze 

If we were having coffee today I’d lament the rapid onset of Christmas and the dearth of book sales, then tell you of recent events.  

Yes, Christmas is coming with all the good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, mostly the former, I guess, but after all the wedding hoopla earlier in the year the holidays are almost an anti-climax. Plus the kitten we acquired last spring has precluded worrying too much about a Christmas Tree. The bigger cats are problem enough but a rambunctious youngster makes us a little edgy about putting up a feline jungle gym for her. We had a number of decorative lighted trees we bought for the wedding, so we have several of those placed around the den and living room and have decorated them with small, light decorations. Yes, we are using leftover wedding stuff for Christmas decorations. I even have one of those lighted trees in an upstairs bedroom window facing the street, serving up a “lighted tree in a window” effect. We might still augment the house with a traditional tree, or, we might not. This weekend will tell. 

I spoke a while back about my vision problems with cataracts. I’m happy to report that I am now seeing very well. The first surgery was November 10 and the second one was December 1. My doctor put me on a strict no lifting anything over 10 pounds regimen after both surgeries so that impacted the Christmas decorating thing too, because I couldn’t mess with a tree or risk climbing into storage to fiddle with the boxes of ornaments. Then my lovely bride has been having some back issues and this is affecting our shopping too, as is my job, which has been kicking up a lot of dust this week. Now I’m starting to understand why my grandparents always just gave us a check. 

I hope to make fruitcake tonight or tomorrow. My family has made this same recipe for over 100 years. This is not a stereotype either … it is a GOOD fruitcake. The full recipe makes about 1.5 metric tons. For years I’ve made a half batch and even that is so big I had to buy a restaurant quality huge metal mixing bowl. Since each slice is a little calorie bomb, I decided to cut it down again, so I’m making a 1/4 batch, which should make one nice sized cake. In the past I’ve mostly made cupcakes … fruitcake cupcakes are genius (my mom’s idea) but you lose one thing, the marvelous calliope of colors and textures one gets when a fruitcake is sliced. At least in theory. I might go back to cupcakes next year. They really are pretty cool and easier to store. 

Oh, yeah, I have been lamenting something else too … book sales have really dropped off. Luckily, they didn’t have far to go. Ah well … I’ll just keep hammering away. Still, allow me a moment to plug for sales… do you need a last minute gift idea? Take a minute to scan through my web page … the URL is below. There is a review link … several book review bloggers have read them and given me some awesome reviews. People who read these books really like them. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen next weekend, but in case I don’t make it by for coffee, keep the spirit of the season in your heart


Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina … information on his books can be found at http://thefensk.com