Ornament Alley

Because T’s been walking since he was 11 months old, we’ve modified our Christmas tree this year to fit on top of the piano, the keys of which we encourage him to tinkle as he toddles to and from the living room, the back of which he can’t reach. Yet. S fixated on a live tree from Target. Somehow, it wasn’t until we got it home that we discovered the needles are of the blood-drawing variety. I wore oven mitts to help hang the lights. Tucked in his high chair, T practiced the finger foods thing while S and I decorated, using select ornaments from the Xmas Box due to lack of tree mass.

Brace for favs (it’s late–I’m up–insomnia brought on by getting barfed on by T right before we put him in bed–he won’t throw up in his bed, will he? Jimi Hendrix style? I worry, I worry…Bring on the eggnog…):

Oh! A penguin straight from the Galapagos Isles, delivered by bro and sis-in-law who went Darwinian for a week last year. He’s been sitting on a bathroom shelf just waiting for his first tree hanging (the ornament, not my bro-in-law). Little guy! Little Galapagotic wonder. Galapagos penguins breed three times a year and predators include sharks and fishing nets. I love him. (More eggnog, plzzzz…)

Galapagos Penguin!

My sis-in-law reported disturbing tales of massive Galapagos Islands underfunding and poaching and I hope I am able to litter the sacred volcanic landscape with my footprints before the whole archipelago is completely ravaged and the wildlife poached to extinction, including the Galapagos penguin and the Blue Footed Booby. Which brings me to the seahorse from Bloodsister:

seahorse from bloodsister!

As everyone knows, male seahorses carry the “fry” (babies), possibly 200 fry at a time. Pregnant for two or three weeks. Then intense, color-draining labor. It’s a wonderful world. Enter mousie:


For an Xmas boutique in Honolulu. I created 5 mice, sold one—to a stately looking woman-psychiatrist the chick in a mumu next to me (selling Xmas leis!!!) knew. I’ve given the other mousies away over the years, but kept this one to remind me, I suppose, of that other life I lived so long ago in the tropics (I could have used that psychiatrist in a big way then). There are, in fact, Boobies on Kaui. I’ve seen them. En masse.


S and I had known each other barely a year when we picked this up on Martha’s Vineyard. We rode bikes by beaches that made me think of “Jaws” and we hunted for James Taylor in Edgartown. It was post Labor Day. The island was preparing to shut down. The two elderly spinstery ladies who sold us the sailboat ornament said they chopped wood for cash during the no-tourist Winter months. Island life. A far cry from Honolulu. Or the gritty Galapagos. Martha’s Vineyard hosts the little known Red Footed Falcon, which has caused “justifiable excitement” island-wide. The hero in my children’s novel sports the tail of a Great White Shark. Rumless eggnog is still potent, in its quiet way. And now, a final couplet:

To bed, to bed! I leave you with my 71 year old mo-in-law
standing on her head.


Oh yes—and the tree.
Nighty night—better you than me!
(wait, I take that back)


One Response to “Ornament Alley”

  1. PB says:

    PB–what are those things hanging on the wall to the right of the tree? They look like heavy polished stone masks from Mexico that your Great Uncle Henry brought back on one of many trips to deepest darkest Tijuana or some type of very South-ish jungle and which you inherited back in the 90’s along with a gazzilion rocks from your uncle’s backyard overlooking the Pacific and his potted geraniums, which are still thriving, and oh yes his old stalky corn plant, which is also still alive and must be over 20 years old! Am I right? Am I right?