Cat Tree

And how are the cats doing with the tree, you ask?

Actually really well!

It was a little too pointy on top, but Matcha fixed it.



And a little too ornamenty.


Then Matcha realized we didn’t have an angel, so she volunteered herself.


She has to come down every once in a while to eat the carpet, so it’s a good thing she’s learned to get to the top so quickly!

Taking care of our Christmas tree is a tough job, but some cat’s got to do it.


(It’s a good thing they’re so cute.)




O Plastic Tree

For various reasons and through many, many four-against-one conversations, we decided to get an artificial tree this year. Which means no more this.



Kevin pointed out it doesn’t have to be forever. Maybe it will just be for one year, then we’ll go back to the Christmas tree farm. I said, but what if we like it? And we had to start the conversation all over again.

We went to Nordstrom to pick one out. Normally it is raining freezing rain sideways when we pick out a tree. Here, there was no weather.. I missed the complaining. My socks were way too dry. I walked around each tree with a rotten egg look on my face. Nearby, a lady browsed athletic T’s with her son. Ignoring how unnatural this was, I explained that we were getting an artificial tree this year and how it feels like we’re giving up on life, you know, like we are now those people who say Christmas is too much hassle and pretend they’re not home when neighbors deliver cookies. She smiled. “I’ve always had an artificial tree.”

See?!! That kind of thing never happened when we picked out a real tree.

I have always preferred a scraggly, gappy tree to a full one. This one delivers.


Maybe a little too much.

Also, it smells like plastic. At least, it did until I painted some branches with pine oil that smells like a forest in the bottle but like toilet bowl cleaner on our tree, which is why all of our windows are open despite the freezing temperatures and the sideways hail that is coming inside.

Well, at least one of us is still complaining.

Oaxacan tacos
Black beans
Christmas cookies

Not a Christmas Letter

Ah! Blogging! I forgot about you! I spend all my extra time giving skritches to the kitties. The cats are good, except for all the jumping on counters. They always have an excuse, like “But there was a bug on the ceiling,” or, “Boba did it first,” or, “We can’t read.”

But then they do something like this and we forgive them.


Here’s the rundown on the boys: V still working at Bobae, avoiding our questions about homework by hiding in his room on his phone, and pinning his brothers to the couch while he still can, as Rocco is making a run for him for on both height and weight. Rocco is also making a run on V for time spent in his room on his phone and finishing up school soccer. Leo is usually found rolling around the carpet asking what there is to dooooooo because he doesn’t have a hobby and he also doesn’t have a phone.

Maybe I’m not being fair. Let’s hear it from the boys themselves. What are you all up to?

V: Uh…homework? *shrug* And I ranked up in Valorant?
Me: Is it spelled V-A-L-O-R-A-N-T?
V: Yeah. Like the word.

R: Absolutely nothing!
Me: Come on, you have to give me more than that.
R: IDK. Give me a moment to think.
School timer: beep beep! beep beep! beep beep!
R: I have to go now.

L: School, week with all of the activities at school, Christmas break coming up, and that’s really it.
Me: What are your thoughts on the cats?
L: They are cute and cuddly but the slightest bit annoying. At least they stopped climbing the Christmas tree though…

As for me, life has been contentedly boring. I have been happily writing for a couple months instead of angst-ily writing. It’s the combination of having a set of woodland creatures to write about (6 winter stories and I’m starting my 6th summer story today!!) and working with my writing coach. She is a smart, encouraging grandmother of a person who asks questions like, “Just how would a squirrel and a mouse turn a river into a swimming hole?” then pokes around YouTube to find a way it can be done. Having her on my team is like having a warm batch of cinnamon rolls on my team.

And finally, Kevin. He recently upgraded his free scooter from Google for something bigger. He no longer looks like a circus clown riding around on a tiny bike and instead looks like a big Italian guy on a Vespa.


That’s as close to a Christmas letter as it gets around here. I hope you’re all enjoying the pre-Christmas fun!

Cashew chicken
Broiled asparagus