I’ve decided to start participating in the weekly Celebrate link-up hosted by Ruth Ayres. Only I’m borrowing Colby Sharp’s title and format: 5 Things I Loved About Last Week. You can find links here to other people’s Celebrate posts for this week.
1. Our Christmas tree is still standing! We got our tree up right after Thanksgiving, but we kept putting off decorating it because of this:
I’ve had cats all my life but never a cat that climbed the Christmas tree–much less THREE cats who like to climb it. I will say this for our fake tree: it’s incredibly sturdy and stable. It swings wildly with the weight of cats taking flying leaps on and off of it and scampering all around it, but hasn’t come even close to tipping over. We finally decorated it last week, and of course it got ever so much more interesting for the cats once it had ornaments and lights on it. They do exactly what you think a cat in a Christmas tree would do: bat at ornaments, knock ornaments off the tree and watch them fall, and get twisted up in the lights.
Can you spot the living ornament?
All of my beautiful ornaments are packed away. All of the sentimental favorites are packed away too. The dog even gets in on the action when the cats knock off the plush ornaments, which get mistaken for squeaky toys once they’re on the floor. It’s daily work to rearrange crushed branches, redistribute lights, and hang the ornaments that have been knocked to the floor back up, but the cats are having a ball.
2. I submitted grades on Tuesday, and now I have a three-week vacation! Three weeks to stay home and read books. I intend to do #bookaday, though right now I’m reading Donna Tartt’s doorstop, The Goldfinch, not quite the right kind of book for #bookaday.
3. This is the last empty page of my writer’s notebook.
I will finish it today and start a new one. I love finishing one notebook and starting a new one.
4. I cooked Ethiopian food, more or less successfully! When we first adopted our Ethiopian children, I tried making Ethiopian food for them. You would have thought I had tried to poison them. So I didn’t try that again for a long, long time. But I thought perhaps my older son might be ready to appreciate the effort, so I finally decided to try again. Eating Ethiopian food cooked by a mom brought up some feelings for him–scary thing, those feelings. But overall, it was a good experience. We loved these Lentils with Yams (I didn’t have allspice or fenugreek, but it was delicious without those spices), and I thought the Cabbage was even better. I could seriously eat this cabbage every day of the week. I also found teff flour and attempted injera. I used Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe adapted for American home cooks. In texture and appearance, it’s rather close to injera, but the flavor is off–it lacks the sour tang of a true injera. If you could think of it as something other than injera, if you could think of it as the substantial, filling, flavorful flat bread it is, you could really enjoy it. But we were hoping for injera, so it was a disappointment. (Well, it was a disappointment to me and Temesgen. My husband hates injera, so he was thrilled when my injera turned out not to taste like injera.) Next time I try to make injera, I’m going to use this recipe, which has promising words like “fermentation” in the description!
5. Once again, my fantasy football team, the Sunnydale Slayers, is in the championship game. In four years of play in this league, my team has been in the championship game three times and in the consolation game once. Unlike all of the NFL players you see crying in interviews over the Super Bowl ring they didn’t win twenty years ago, I don’t actually care that much about winning the championship. The important thing for me is to crush and dominate for the entire season, year in and year out. Up until the final week of the season, I was number one in points and winning record. Winning the championship would be fun, but it’s kind of icing on the cake for me.