Life After Christmas: New Poetry Books (thanks Santa) & a Blog Remodel

Good Monday, Friends!

If you celebrate Christmas, did you enjoy it?
If you don't celebrate Christmas, did you enjoy your day?

Christmas Past & Christmas Presents:

I had an incredible Christmas.  Being around my family and good friends really just reminds me why we are all here and yes, what's important.

I think I am finally to the point where I actually feel like an adult in that I get much more pleasure giving than getting.  This probably seems normal in your life, but I must say, even in my 30's I loved to get gifts (think Sue Sylvester on the Glee Christmas special).  Yes, I would rig a Secret Santa giveaway if I could.

But I must be growing up.  I was 28 before I got my cheekbones, maybe I'm just a late bloomer in life.  Yes, I am pretty sure I am.

As for Christmas gifts, I only asked for a few items this year, 2 new poetry books, a new pillow and some ragwool socks from Eddie Bauer.  And guess what, Santa brought me all of them (the bonus of having a short list).

My two new poetry books:  Dear God, Dear Dr. Heartbreak  Aliki Barnstone (and I believe White Pine Press will be publishing a new book by her next year - I love her work!)  and Terrance Hayes Lighthead.  Okay, admittedly, I'm the last person in the poetry world getting this book, but I got it!

Also someone a couple months ago commented on this blog that her husband got a water-based pillow when I was complaining that I spent $20 on what I thought was the perfect pillow (but wasn't) and I got one of those--Mediflow Waterbase Fiberfill Pillow  and I'm loving it! (Thank you for that comment!)

I do keep a fleece pillowcase on it because underneath it can get a little cooler because of the water (and I'm one of those people who sometimes sleeps in bizarre positions with hands under pillow, arms grasping pillow, etc. etc.) so I did notice it was cooler.  But I love being able to add water to change the firmness of the pillow.

It's crazy-heavy (I think I filled mine to medium-firm), but it's been great to have it stay fluffed all the night.  I'm sounding a little obsessive over my pillow (I am), but if you have pillow issues like I have, this might be a life changer for me.  I'll keep you informed.  (My biggest concern is that there is water in this pillow and I may inadvertently be growing sea monkeys in my sleep).


New Year's Remodel:

And yes, it might look a little different around here.

I'm trying to clean up my blog and remodel a bit.  If you've been a reader to this blog, you know this is normal for me. I remember one reader saying something about it reminding it of his mom when he was growing up, sometimes he'd come home to find the couch in a new place.  Yes, I've moved the couch as well as paintings on the walls.

I hope you can still find a place to sit here and enjoy and hope you're liking the new look as well as the content.

We will see how it ends up on January 1st...


Want Your Name on the Walls?

Oh and by the way, I'm adding/cleaning up my People in the Neighborhood blog list and if you're not on it and want to be - please leave me a note in this comment with your full name and blog link and I'll add you.

Or if you're on my list and want off, please let me know that too!




  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday - I also was treated to poetry books!

    I would love to be a part of your neighborhood - The Poetry Tow Truck prompt feature will be rolling out January 1st on my blog!

    My blog is Put Words Together. Make Meaning.
    You can find me at

    Enjoy the rest of your holidays!
    Donna Vorreyer

  2. I bought myself some poetry books, one of which I'm featuring this week on my blog. I also received for Christmas "Apollo's Angels" and the biography of Henrietta Lack. Lots of words to keep me company inside while the wind raves outside.

    I know Terrance Hayes' book but am not familiar with Aliki Barnstone. I will look for her work.

  3. I really don't like the gift giving end of Christmas anymore because I am mostly surrounded by adults who have all the stuff they need. We set a $10 limit this year because a few people STILL insisted on exchanging gifts among the adult. I hate to bitter, but I only had one item worth keeping - a Barnes & Noble Gift card. The other items were a book I'd never read and two tops (sweater and a shirt) which were given to me and the gifter said "we know this isn't something you would wear but we thought we'd see if you would." really? trying to buy something you know someone wouldn't use? Just crazy. So I'll be donating and/or trying to exchange this week. I hate to sound all bah humbug but I wish I had not had been out voted on the just giving to the kids and/or donating to charity.

    And I still need the Terrence Hays book myself!

  4. Donna, I will add you!

    Maureen, poetry books make good gifts (even for yourself!) I do that too. Will check out your blog!

    Jessie, you do not sound bah-humbug at all. Next year, my husband and I have talked about each choosing a charity and when people ask us what we want, we'll send them to that charity. I'm currently considering Canines for Kids ( as they provide assistance animals for disabled children.

    I think it's pretty funny someone got you something that they knew you wouldn't wear, but wanted to see if you would (now, that's a new one!)

    I definitely do not think it needs to be about the gifts. In fact, I believe it was the Grinch who said,
    "Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. "

  5. I thought I was on your list, but I don't see my name. Or maybe I'm just bleary-eyed.

    Sounds like you had a fab Christmas. We had snow - first white Christmas since 1882.

  6. That's weird, Collin, because I follow your blog (but on Google Reader). I thought you were on my list too. You should be!

    I'll get you on it!

    Weirdness. I don't know where you went!

  7. Hi Kelli,
    I'm so happy you changed your blog because every time I read it, some weird message about the script would pop up and my computer would freeze up. Admittedly, I have an old computer...but now it seems that little issue is gone.
    So thanks!
    word verification: fressem
    sounds like freesom

  8. When I was a kid, my mom was forever rearranging the furniture in one room or another of the house. One of my dad's standard jokes, whenever she did that, moved the couch across the room or switched two chairs and a table, he would get home from work, come in the house, and (with exaggerated surprise) he would say, "Well, I'm in the wrong place!"

    And somehow, no matter how she rearranged things, it seemed there was always one too many pieces of furniture in every room, one thing that wouldn't fit neatly in any spot -- the extra chair that edged partly into the archway, or the footstool that wouldn't quite tuck under anything, or the cabinet that sat behind a door because there was no place else for it.

    By all means you're most welcome to keep me in the Neighborhood blogroll. :)

  9. Ahoy!
    So excited! I whittled down my list of over 100 poetry books by seven. My precious wife gave me a credit card and permission. Looking forward to getting started, having helped pay the electricity for Four Way Books, Tupelo Press, Camber Press and Tebot Bach.
    Paul David

  10. Sounds like your Christmas was as wonderful as mine, but then I do love Christmas. Took our family six hours just to get through stockings. I missed Atlanta's first white Christmas because I came out to my mother's in California but I am heading back to the snow Thursday.I would love to be part of your list if you have the room. My blog is Wordgathering and can be found at:

  11. So glad you're enjoying the pillow! My husband is still loving his after all of this time. I think I may switch as well.

    Sweet dreams!


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