Stephanie Burgis
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...and, OOF.

Before we left the house, 13 days ago, we turned the heating way down to save on energy bills. Smart, right? Well...unfortunately, while we were gone, the temperatures swooped down to well below freezing, and our house is an old stone cottage where the cold sets in and stays. The moment we walked in (at least, the moment after our first screams of horror and cold), we turned up all the storage heaters, turned on the gas fire, and turned our portable oil heaters on high.

I still didn't take off my winter coat all night, and MrD stayed wrapped in many, many blankets. By the time Patrick and MrD came into bed last night (a few hours later than me), I'd wrapped myself into a tight cocoon made up of ALL of the covers from the bed. Because he is the kindest and most generous of husbands, he didn't take any of them back. I'm not sure what he used in the end, but I was very grateful not to lose my cocoon of precious warmth.

Today, the storage heaters have begun to do their job, the house is feeling much more livable, and my brain is finally starting to emerge from the hibernation mode it went into last night. It was great, when we got home, to find a copy of the December issue of Locus (thanks, Karen!!!), with MrDarcy's birth announcement in it - and it was kind of funny to think back to my teenage self and think how amazed she would have been by that! I read Locus voraciously from the time I was 16, always fantasizing about someday having my books mentioned in there...sadly, I never managed to get ahold of the issue with my books' sale announcement this fall, since our local Borders didn't stock that one, but I'm definitely going to be saving this issue to look back on and sigh over sentimentally. :)

And this was a great vacation for reading in general. I got a wonderful haul of books for Christmas - not just The Graveyard Book, which I'd already mentioned, but also Marie Brennan's Midnight Never Come, which was a really fun Elizabethan fantasy novel, Julia Quinn's On the Way to the Wedding, which was a very funny, sweet Regency rom-com, Winifred Watson's Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (very different from the movie, but just as funny), and both sequels to Lauren Myracle's wonderful YA novel ttyl - I'm really looking forward to reading them this week.

So in other words, I was very, very happy with my haul. :)

Sadly, this afternoon, MrD has to get his second set of immunizations. Sigh. None of us are looking forward to that, or to the night of fever afterwards...but at least this time he is finally big enough to safely take infant tylenol afterwards, so it should be much, much easier on him and us this time than last time. Knock on wood!

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