It's snowing like mad right now, huge fluffy flakes pelting down. Bill, Phoebe, Liam and I rode into town this evening to procure our Christmas tree, a 7' Fraser fir that filled the car with heavenly fragrance. This was followed by an outing at the new Mexican restaurant in town. Bill and I eavesdrop on the waiters and really enjoy deciphering what they're saying. One man always touches the kids' foreheads, a lovely ritual that we saw a lot in south Texas, a blessing to the child.
I finished my ivory-bill painting today. I'd love to show it to you, including the progress pictures I took over the week it was on the drawing table, but that will have to wait until after it's been published. I'll have my own blog by then. Charlie likes it, anyway. I tried an interesting thing, sending jpegs out to my artist friends and asking for feedback. It was a first--a painting by committee. Their suggestions were terrific, and I incorporated almost every one, except for my friend Margaret's. She suggested that I add a toad on one of the fallen logs. Nancy Tanner added that the bird was flying too low. There wasn't much I could do about that one!
We shopped for toys for Chet Baker's birthday tonight. He'll be one on December 12. We brought home a couple of bags of ridiculous things for him, and while everyone was out of the room, Chet climbed up on the kitchen table and stole the best one right out of the bag, a Mexican jumping bean that passes gas when bitten. Durn dog.
It figures that it's snowing so hard. I have a date to record some more commentaries for National Public Radio's All Things Considered at 9:30 tomorrow morning. This wouldn't be a problem, but WOUB, the studio where I do the recording, is 1 1/2 hours away in Athens, Ohio. Chances of my getting there in this snow are slim to nil. I started writing and recording three-minute commentaries for NPR in July, 2004, and 16 have aired since then. This is one of the more challenging things in my life, but I absolutely love it; writing something I think my editors might accept is always a gamble, recording the pieces is a gas, and looking for things worth writing about is the most fun of all. I've promised myself that if I do get snowed in tomorrow, I'll spend part of the day thinking up some more topics.
If you're looking for Christmas gifts for your friends and family, try the wish list I made up for NPR's web site. Several of my friends say they've gotten ideas from it. I hope Bill's reading it.
That's enough shameless self-promotion for one evening, I think. And now, to bed.