What an amazing holiday season it was this year! Perhaps it's because I've been settled in Ottawa for almost five years, or maybe it's due to our getting more involved with the Little Theatre community. No longer living an hour away from most friends (including a ferry ride) helps, too. Whatever the reason(s), our social calendar was packed with wonderful get-togethers over the past few weeks.
December 17th I turned 55 and was surrounded by loving energy all day. I maintain many close relationships with local friends and U.S. family and friends through Facebook, and throughout the day wonderful people sent heartfelt good wishes. Basking in their kindness, I answered each one, smiling at the memories and overflowing with gratitude. Pierre took me out to a fancy dinner on top of all of that, and we received an unexpected gift which I can't yet reveal. (It does not, thank goodness, involve babies!) Suffice it to say that it was the very best birthday I've ever had.
On the 18th, a lovely woman with whom I'm growing a great friendship, Nadine, gifted me a seat in her company's box at the National Art Centre for their production of Handel's Messiah. The view... the sound... (For a taste, and if you'd like some beautiful background music for the next 3.5 minutes, click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
On the 21st, sixteen friends joined Pierre and me for a traditional turkey and fixin's potluck at our house. Although we've had a number of small dinner parties, this was the first big party we've held, so it was fun to see how many people our home comfortably fit. It was also a reminder of how much work throwing a party takes! I loved it, am am pretty sure everyone enjoyed themselves, but will admit to a preference for more intimate groups.
The 23rd we began a new family tradition. Pierre's son and brothers have come to our house for the previous three Christmases, to cook, eat, and drink too much. They're not a tight-knit family, so although they all live in the area, this is usually one of the only times we see them. This year I racked my brain to come up with an activity that might make our family gathering more fun for everyone. My idea of attending a hockey game together was a big hit! Pierre dubbed it the Annual Christmapuck, and not only did we all have a blast, but we're already looking forward to next year's game. Yay!
Christmas Eve Pierre and I enjoyed a quiet, comfy evening at home.
Christmas Day we joined my dear friend, Val, aka THEATREGIRL3, and her mom, siblings, and their kids for their annual family luncheon. They're a great bunch!
The evening of the 26th Val, Nadine, and I took a yoga workshop (intense flow yoga -- WHEW!) where my favourite yoga teacher didn't lead the class, but instead accompanied it along with her band Bhavan2 and friends. Live, delicious music + yoga = AHHHHH! If you'd like to hear some of what we heard in that class, you can go here: (music starts at 1:40)
The 26th was also the day I began the MyYogaOnline 8-day cleanse, which included kitchari, juices, no processed foods, and a daily yoga video.
And that's not ALL! For the first time in at least ten years, P&I went OUT for New Year's Eve. Another theatre couple, Jenn & Don, invited us to a dinner party to ring in 2014. I introduced the group to southern-style beans and greens (kale, collards, or chard + black-eyed peas + bacon + vinegar + Tabasco), a traditional good-luck new year's dish, which most folks liked. And, I brought a candle and bowl for those who wished to do a burning ritual. We relaxed and visited and even stayed awake to watch the Time's Square ball drop on t.v..
If you've made it this far, you may be as tired as we were on New Year's Day! It's now a week further on, and our social life has calmed down to its usual maybe one evening a week outing. Feels like stepping back into a comfy set of jammies! In the midst of this whirlwind I gained and lost a couple of pounds, and hopped back into this community to help keep me in maintenance mode. Thanks for still being here!
I'd love to hear about your holiday highlights if you'd like to share.
To a fabulous year of health and happiness!