We Have Ourselves Some Noble Fir

If you click on my ‘About‘ page, you’ll see that my favorite music consists of piano jazz and Christmas music (better if combined!); which means, I enjoy listening to Christmas music in the summer — heck, all year long.  It also means I love Christmas. This may be because it’s the one celebration, other than Easter, that my family and I truly celebrated with joy.

The truth is, my family never purchased a real Christmas tree.  I’m not sure why, but instead, we owned a faux alternative.  I remember buying the plastic tree.  Fort Worth, Texas, 1993 or 1994, Christmas Eve.  A desolate Macy’s due to a bad economy (the beginning of it), or maybe because nobody bought/buys Christmas trees on Christmas Eve. I remember a dark parking lot, so it must have been in the evening.  My siblings and I ran through the home decoration section, which seemed to us like the equivalent of Disneyland in our Texan lives.  Trees decorated with glittery ornaments, pink and purple lights, colorful feathers, twinkling stars, I don’t really remember the specifics. My dad asked us to pick ornaments and there were millions from which to choose.  I didn’t want our tree to look haphazard or kitschy with random themes conglomorated into one.  I stopped my siblings and looked over at a pretty tree on display.  I convinced them that the pretty tree should be our tree, so we bought the same lights and ornaments as the pretty tree, and that’s how we ended up with a mini Macy’s tree in our living room for the next ten years.  *Note: The mini tree safely rests in my storage space.

Early this fall, I asked my husband if we could have a Christmas tree. A real one. “No,” he said, “Our place is way too small.  It won’t be able to fit.”  My world came crumbling down, but I knew I had some time (maybe 3 months) to convince him.

September, October, and November had passed, and Christmas tree farms were being built left and right. “Christmas Tree Wonderland,” “Delancey Christmas Tree Farm,” trees everywhere and not one in my home. Husband, for some reason, dug up a small one hidden in one of my boxes and I set it on our living room coffee table.

Friday, December 2nd. Husband had the day off after a morning exam, so he ran errands until I came back from work. When I returned, he said he had a surprise for me but he would give it to me later.  A surprise??? Hmmm. (I have to admit, I was a little suspicious/skeptical because he hasn’t been what I would consider an expert at surprises. hehehe. ;) j/k, Love!)  As we do on most Fridays, we were planning on eating out for dinner, and for some reason, he ran to the car trying to hide a sleeping bag, while I suspiciously watched from the passenger seat.  He said he would have to give the present at the very end of the evening. Hmmmm….

After dinner, I suggested we buy Christmas decorations for our home, i.e., candles and maybe a wreath.  He agreed and I was telling him the directions to Michael’s. “Go straight and make a right,” I said. But he made a right and went straight, and continued to go the wrong way while I was frantically telling him to go back.  He kept on saying, “What? Isn’t Michael’s this way?” while continuing to drive in the wrong direction.  “No, it was right there! We passed it, you need to go back,” I kept insisting. A red light was up ahead, and suddenly he turned into the block, leading us into a Christmas tree farm, and I finally realized his surprise.  He wanted to buy me a Christmas tree!  You can imagine my excitement; I kept punching him until I ran out into the Christmas tree farm. It was 1993 again, but this time in a real farm with goats and sheep.

We bought decorations and lights, and to make a long story short, we set up our first Christmas tree, my first real Christmas tree, in our humble abode. Thank you, Love.

The End of Fall. The Beginning of Winter.

[3rd time writing this post. AGH to the back button!]

We both missed SoCal.  I missed L.A./Redondo Beach, he missed San Diego. We enjoyed the brief time spent with loved ones, morning jams, though not so much the George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” (yeah), feasting on good food, bathing in 82 degree winter sun.

There’s no place like home.

But SoCal isn’t SoCal until I step across the border of Torrance/Redondo Beach.  I missed Pacific Coast Highway, the stores along the streets, my mom’s  old photo shop (now a floral shop), the movie theater, The Coffee Bean, the walkway along the beach, the view of the peninsula, Torrance Blvd.  Home…

I’m beginning to understand this notion called nostalgia. I don’t want to go back to my past, not quite, but every now and then, I enjoy stepping into the streets of my past, traveling back in time while staying in the present; I think I enjoy remembering.

I know I will enjoy the memories happening now, in the ghetto, and I hope my husband and I can both look back and reminisce when we’re old and wrinkly. But even then, I think a piece of my heart will be in Redondo.

I love cali when it’s 79 degrees

stream of unconsciousness:  at 9am, the nursery kids have a dance party with the bass bumping surround-sound. it’s summer, a time to sleep in, but no, my alarm clock is a live band of 3-ft kids. it doesn’t help that they like to scream, and roar, and growl, and cry, and caretakers like to sing and rap. which reveals something about human nature; as kids we were animals. as adults we are merely articulate.   on another note, supposedly I have a questionable lifestyle, because my sister keeps on asking, “Does Yohan know about this?” He’ll find out. When we’re married. keke. what? nothing. speaking of marriage, we found a place to live in Oakland. our very own place with french windows, a rooftop BBQ area, and a laundry machine in our kitchen. I can’t wait to decorate it like Pottery Barn.  too bad our tastes are on the opposite sides of the decoration spectrum. I am modern-country, he is contemporary-future.  But it’s a good thing he’ll let me do whatever I want. Flowery bedding, mercury glass vases, birdcages, flowers flowers flowers. hehe. I love flowers!!! which is why I’m currently constructing a 26′ flower banner. which is turning out to be a catastrophe because I have no space to store this 26′ mass in a roomed filled with wedding chaos. sometimes I wonder, “What was I thinking?” What am I doing? Ahhhhh!!!  and my sister (aka my maid-of-honor who’s supposed to be my slave) watches k-dramas ALL day when she’s not engaged in dissension. it’s lunch time, the weather’s nice, and i feel like Mexican food.

Grey Skies

The gentle tapping of rain is California winter.  Some say it’ll snow on Saturday — the possibility stirs excitement like the double rainbow.  But for now, it rains.  Why is weather more interesting than anything else I want to share.

Papers on my desk are piled and recycled, piled and recycled; but lately, they’ve been piling into multiple heaps.  I’m shackled by RSVPs and unsealed envelops. Who do I need to call? Where does this go? By when? Oh, I don’t want to répondez, s’il vous plaît! Unfortunately, I cannot recycle obligations.

grim, glum, grey. that’s how I feel today.

maybe it’s the rain.

photo by jess engel


“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The testimony of the Lord is right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

The judgements of the Lord are true;

They are righteous altogether.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,

Or Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalms 19:7-9, 14)

His Word, His love, I trust.  What I do not understand now, I pray for wisdom.