Holidays were busy! Basically good! Got to see/phone relatives and friends I haven't seen in a long time, which was really, really nice.
Helplessly reduced version
Saw the Hangover, Dark Knight & Star Trek (thank you Carl!), and (for the second time) Hopscotch. Couldn't keep the slash goggles off, on those last two, I'm afraid (I know; I'm sorry. Yes, even Matthau). About ran out to see Sherlock Holmes; barely kept it in my pants. Will break down soon. Got to play my mom some fantastic music, incl. "Madam George" by Van Morrison, which I sometimes get obsessed with (and which she knew, btw, just not by title). Tried to show her some Kids in the Hall but don't think she was thrilled (alas!). Didn't get to show her Alice. Got to play/sings all those holiday songs Chris and I have been working on - we learned some non-depressed ones this year. (Last year or year before we learned "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," mostly to make me cry.) This year we've been working up the light and non-specific stuff: "No Place Like Home For the Holidays," "Let it Snow," "Santa Baby." Picked up last minute some "White Christmas," "Deck the Halls" and "What Child Is This?" because pretty.
Learned Euchre! Fun! Played that, Hearts, Pinochle galore. Never did send out cards. :\
Readin', Writin' and 'rithma--well, arts an crafts:
Got to read more Sandman (THANK YOU CARL!). Spent the car ride home on digging into various unfinished chapters. Knit another Möbius (that's number four--third for my mom). Started some gloves with some graciously provided yarn from family friend! Drew random pages I'm not sure I'll be able to use, but would like to at some point. Productive car ride!
Light, which is good. Inherited an old sweater of my dad's that no one's worn in.. well, twelve + years, now, and can't seem to take it off (mostly, it's cold). Thirteenth Christmas without my dad, this year. But my sixth Christmas with Chris. That's amazing to think about, too. Chris, who magically remembers everything I say in even vague "Oh, it might be nice to have a..." got someone a flock of chicks for me, through Heifer International, which I think is the most thoughtful and wonderful gift I've gotten in a long, long time.
Among others... Albert.
So we were gone several days, but it was really cold and frosty, and I didn't get a chance to acclimatize Albert to going back outside, and frankly, got selfish and wanted to not have to take down the festive before xmas - and wanted a chance to camp out by the tree with the lights on one night (this will be tonight). So I watered him really well and left him inside.
Our best pals and neighbors house-sat for us, and (totally appropriately) cranked up the heat for the two nights they stayed here from the starvation rations we keep it at, and turned it back down when they left. And the two weeks or so that Albert's been inside is way longer than is suggested. But everything I saw only mentioned the trouble with getting dried out, and I gave him plenty of water, and he seemed springy and healthy.
Apparently the other problem with being inside too long is that a pine tree will start to think it is spring, and break dormancy.
I came home to find Albert covered in beautiful, precious, fluffy sprigs of pale chartreuse all over. He looks impossibly bushy and bright.
How could that be wrong?
Unfortunately, everything I can find now says, "Never let them break dormancy, or they will die when"--mark WILL and WHEN--"you put them outdoors." (Why would you put them outdoors to die if it's inevitable they'd die out there? And how about an "If this happens, you can do x," please?!)
Like a desperate mother, I search for alternative treatments for my doomed and written off and still apparently very happy and healthy (at the moment) baby.
I finally--after pages and pages--found something saying that, if dormancy were to be broken (it was still a cautionary tale), you would have to keep them indoors until chance of frost was over. (Eureka! This, I can do!) ...But that this, too, would cause inevitable death, because surviving an in-home winter and spring is not likely, what with heat and dryness. And that pines tend to need a long wintery rest, which will now have been cut short.
Everybody on the internets is talking doom at my tree.
Everybody on the internets refuses to troubleshoot, and instead, too late, offers me warnings of evil spirits and inevitable death.
So I put it to you that we need to have, on the internets, good juju, and assurances that an Aleppo pine accidentally propelled into an early Spring inside a home that goes really light on the heat and keeps the humidity up and where, in fact, he will get water and be gentled, will not only survive winter but survive Spring, make a peaceful transition back into outdoor life when the temps. aren't so shocking, and, though tired by next winter, will transition into next year's dormancy for a good long rest without much comment beside that. ("Albert will rock the casbah!" in a comment would do very nicely, for instance. Or even just some good wishes generally.)
Or if you have had any experience evading doom or know you some indoorable pine info, please share!
Now, I have spent way too much of my evening online, and need to get to a little gentling-into-sleep-mode and have my (apparently very dangerous) night out by my sweet little Albert. I hope all of y'all have had a wonderful (or at least not-too-stressful) week, whatever you did or did not do with it.