December Reprise

December was an indoor month, with cooking and baking, writing Christmas cards and making Christmas gifts, and, unfortunately, the flu. I also read 15 books in December, 6 each of nonfiction and poetry, and 3 novels. Most of the books were mediocre (possibly due more to my mood and my busyness rather than the books themselves). The only book I feel compelled to rave about is The Really Short Poems of A. R. Ammons, and I’ve already written about it. But in case you missed that post, here is an additional poem from the book that I loved:

Crow Ride

When the crow
lands, the
tip of the sprung spruce

bough weighs
so low, the
system so friction-free,

the bobbing lasts
way past any
interest in the subject.

–A. R. Ammons

I love poetry that makes me laugh.

potatoesI did quite of a bit of cooking in December, but nothing new or challenging: ginger jam, applesauce, tuna hotdish (vastly improved with buttermilk), roasted red potatoes with rosemary, peanut butter cookies (with Hershey kisses), oatmeal raisin cookies, apple-cranberry crisp, spaghetti, chicken adobo, meatloaf, roasted vegetables, and red fruit salad. And I have indeed decided to go ahead with my “learn how to make one new thing each month” project, even though I haven’t identified the particular 12 items. I have only decided for certain on beef stroganoff for January. I do have a list of ideas, but I also like the idea of being flexible, leaving space for context, whimsy, and inspiration.

I didn’t do a lot of herbal work in December—merely decanted a few items (hops tincture, St. Johns’ Wort oil, and St. John’s Wort tincture). There were also herbs in a number of the Christmas gifts I made, but since we missed Christmas and the gifts are still to be given, and some of my family occasionally read this blog, I will not elaborate for now. Suffice it to say I had a very fine day of making and packaging gifts.

I continued the Haiku Project in December—my 14th month! I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve decided to continue, and Lori (my Montana friend) has happily agreed to continue collecting them for me. I’m looking forward to growing my poetry in the coming year. I want to explore other poetry forms (starting with the triolet). I guess I will have to rename it the Poetry Postcard Project. As you might guess, I am particularly interested in short forms which lend themselves to postcards.

MNI’ve also continued the Obama postcard project (28 cards so far) and will definitely continue that in 2015. I think it’s important that our public officials hear from us, and if a few other people read your ideas along the way, all the better.

December was a month of minor mishaps: my car battery died (again), the dryer started making a horrible racket (now repaired), the cat peed on my chair, and we had the flu on Christmas Day.

snow treesThe biggest thing that happened in December was the Winter Solstice. Finally the days are getting longer, and I like to think that I can already notice it. We had a brown Christmas, but on December 27 we woke up to five inches of fluffy snow. Beautiful.

Still beautiful.

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