I love the sparkly lights. And our oil lamps, which we have in number—7 such. We just bought 4 gallons more lamp oil. (Did you know you can get it from restaurant supply far, far cheaper than you can buy it from other sources?) We’re ablaze with such lamps, and the cats in our house have to learn about live flame. They do. Pretty fast. Instinct says ‘hot, no touch.’ Never had one get burned, though Ysabel once lost a few tail hairs. (“Watch it, silly kitty! Look behind you!”)

We’re going to de-decorate the living room first. Then use the gained clear space to bring out the ornament boxes for the tree.

The house-cleaning is holding up nicely: we’re still not cluttered.

The scanning of old records proceeds apace.

And our snow is vanishing in ‘striped’ weather: it snows, then rains, snows, then rains…

I had one worrisome thing to straighten out: the insurance company we used to use for the house sent us a second bill. Wak! We’d switched to another company last year. I called up these people with whom I have canceled FOUR times, both house and car, and they haven’t been able to get the notion…I finally got it through to them, and they still asked, “Are you SURE you want to cancel?” Me: “Since I’ve been insured by another company all year, yes, I want to cancel!” So they send me a check for the year’s insurance, but knowing how they’ve goofed up, front to back, not paying off when we had a flood in the kitchen (the floor was ruined and we haven’t managed to replace it,just kind of get it sort of flat again) and being very upfront to charge us money—I was not going to give them a chance to screw this up. So I had to call the bank (our mortgage holder). The bank was perplexed. But at least the old insurance company, who had collected money from OUR account, admitted their error and refunded us what they took (we were paying the other guys via the mortgage payments) we were glad to have it clarified what to do, and that, yes, the right guys are providing our insurance. The company that screwed up was Met Life. I’d have thought they were a good company. Our kitchen floor says otherwise.