Coffee heat rising

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hope you all have a happy holiday!

Things are bustling right along here in the ‘Hood, very Christmasy. This quasi-historic neighborhood has filled up with young and ambitious new neighbors, full of civic pride and shenanigans. The neighborhood association is now run by young folks… This year they took it into their lively collective mind to promote displays of luminarias all up and down the streets.

The luminaria, in case you haven’t heard of it in your part of the country, is a Mexican tradition. You take paper bags and place candles in them, sunk in a bit of sand on the bottom of the bag, and then line your sidewalks with them.

They’re very pretty. And distinctively Southwestern. This year many of the neighbors have set them out along the sidewalks and drivewauys.

I don’t do it myself, because I think they’re a fire hazard. As Ruby and I made our mile-long perambulation this evening, I counted six of them that were totally, unmistakable fire risks: parked under shrubs and low-hanging tree branches. Personally. the chance of fire is more than I want to take on.

Plus it’s quite a project to fill dozens of paper bags with sand, park candles in them, and set them all out around your yard and driveway. To say nothing of having to pick them all up tomorrow morning! 😀

Next, as the night ambles on we’ll have the fireworks racket from the ethnic neighborhood to the north of us. This also is a popular tradition…and since fireworks are now sold legally here, we get banged and boomed all night for every possible occasion. Christmas, alas, is now one of the occasions. And New Year’s. And the Fourth of July. And Cinco de Mayo. And…whoever’s birthday it is…on and on and on. Some people’s dogs are very scared by the racket — and if they get out of your yard are likely to be GONE, never to return. Probably to get run over, in their panic, on Conduit of Blight or Gangbanger’s Way.

Ruby lives in the house — I let her out to do Her Thing, of course, but most of the time she loafs inside. Even then, she’s still scared of the noise. Takes up residence under the toilet, where she hides until such time as I go to bed, haul her out, and put her on the blankets with me.

Tomorrow it’s over to M’hijito’s house, where he intends to put on one of his feasts. That kid can cook!

As can a couple of his friends. When they were younger fellas, they seriously contemplated starting a catering business, cooking up fancy meals for customers. That never came to pass (they all went off to college and got — urk! — jobs, if you can imagine), but nevertheless around the holidays they still entertain the families.

Weather here remains steady: cool (in the crisp 60s, Hevvin help us!), classic Arizona climate. It looks like all He!! has broken loose across the country: hundreds of thousands” without power as snow and storms swirl around them. Rarely is one really, really glad to live in Arizona. But this IS one of those times.

My mother spent part of her childhood in upstate New York, on what she described as a “dirt farm” owned by her paternal grandparents. They didn’t have the proverbial nickel or a dime, evidently: anything they ate, they had to raise themselves, and the house had no inside bathrooms — just an outhouse. One winter they had a monumental snowstorm, much like the one we’re seeing now. She said so much snow piled up, they couldn’t get out the doors at all: they had to climb out a second-story window. Her grandfather had to shovel a tunnel out front, so they could use the front door at all.

Sounds like what they have now is very much like that. Only at least they have vehicles that can navigate snow. And central heating (the only heat in her grandparents’ house was from an iron stove). Just imagine what it must have been like to live in those days!

Jeez. It’s only quarter to seven, and the nitwits are already out there banging away with their firecrackers. Why are people so…jerkish?

Ruby doesn’t seem unduly disturbed, though. Guess she’s grown accustomed to human foolishness. 😀Christmas tree