Day 360 : boxing day

360boxing

Sandy: Since 1871, December 26, dubbed Boxing Day, has been a national holiday in England, Wales, Ireland and Canada.¬† Currently it is also a bank holiday in other places including Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and South Africa. There seems to be discrepancies over it’s origins and no one seems to really care but the practice distributing money and boxfuls of gifts to the less advantaged, domestic help, tradesmen and employees is the tradition. It has also become a day of playing and watching professional sports such as cricket, rugby and football (soccer), and fox hunting. For us it was a day to sort through our belongings. We discovered a few coats and sweaters in great condition as well as several boots that someone might be able to use.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


Day 359 : partridge

359partridge

Sandy: Until recently, I didn’t know the origin of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. The counting starts on Christmas day and ends Twelfth Night, on the eve of the Epiphany. It was an English chant dating back to 1780 suggesting that with each successive day, a grander gift would be given or received. A Christmas Price Index (CPI) was created for yucks by a U.S. bank, tracking the costs of all items in the song since 1984. In 2013 the cost would be over $27,000 which include hiring the milkmaids, drummers, etc. The cost would be more if the calculation were for the accumulated amount of items as repeated in the song, thus called the True Cost of Christmas – over $114,000.00. The song just lost it’s cuteness.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


Day 358 : is it safe

358safe

Sandy: Updated family motto – Those who eat possibly-radioactive-seafood together, possibly die together. We are going to stick to, what has become a tradition – having fresh steamed crab on December 24. Since the whole family is in town, we celebrated E’s birthday, a day belated. The crabs were bought from a small market on Clement Street. It took longer to bring the water to a boil than it took to cook the crabs. They were sweet tasting and tender – so yummy! Now all the kids are tucked in their beds and won’t rise until 9:00 AM. Aahhh, so nice. We do not miss the 6:00 AM eagerness on Christmas morning of years past.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


Day 357 : stocking

357stocking

Sandy: My daughter E was hand-delivered by her dad on this day almost to the hour 28 years ago. Since she was delivered at home, we didn’t think to look at the time when she was born so we guestimated and wrote 12:15 AM on her birth certificate.

Hours after we entertained 20 people for holiday dinner, I went into labor, unbeknownst to me (I thought I was having Braxton/Hicks contractions). In the end, we couldn’t get to the hospital in time and E was born in the hallway of our house (I couldn’t get to the bed in time either). The paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, cut the cord and took us to the hospital to make sure E was okay. Christmas day we stuffed, I mean guided, E into the Christmas stocking her grandmother knitted for her newest grandchild. E wasn’t too pleased.We thought she looked adorable. My mom has knit at over 20 stockings for her children and grand children, each are different. We think our stockings are very special from someone very special.

Happy Birthday, E!

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


Day 356 : hair

356hair

Sandy: Over the last few days I’ve been using a blow dryer to style my hair. I haven’t used one in almost a year so it felt foreign at first. I like to get hair cuts that require very little attention and minimum amounts of product. Since hair dryers dry out hair, I don’t like to use one very often. In order to sassy up my new hair cut, though, I use Aveda products which don’t have as many chemicals as more common, readily available brands. My left hand is a lot better at scrunching and styling my hair than my right hand but it can manage the hair dryer just as well as my right. But my left hand has bad aim when spritzing product on my hair. I anticipate mastering the skill of drying and styling my hair by the time we celebrate the new year otherwise my hair will look like it sassed back.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


Day 355 : X

355ten

Sandy: Ten is a number used to mark different things in a variety of ways. A 10 in Olympic gymnastics is the highest score given. If someone says you are a 10, it means they think you are perfect or hot (remember the Bo Derek movie). When children play Hide and Seek they count to ten before the seeker starts to look for the hiders. And adults count to 10 before their patience is up. If a list is created, it’s often – The top 10 Best or Worst something or other. In my case I am counting down the last ten days of primarily using my left hand instead of my right. It started out being very novel but quickly became a lot of work then eventually became part of what I do without thinking too much, now interchanging tasks with my right hand. I am comfortable eating with a fork, spoon or chopsticks, drawing, writing, cutting up food, brushing my teeth, applying cosmetics, brushing my hair, whisking, pouring, washing dishes, drying dishes, using the computer mouse. But cutting with shears or scissors remain a challenge. Of the nine in our house, I can only cut with two. One, with no finger holes, is made by Kuhn Rikon that can cut through chicken bones. The other one, really old but really sharp, is made my Marks. I only use them for cutting my fingernails and have gotten better control with my left hand over the last year.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


Day 354 : sewing

354sewing

Sandy: Sewing is a lot like drawing. When artists begin with a blank piece of paper or a flat canvas, it doesn’t matter what tools are used – pencil, pastels, markers, paint – but eventually, an image appears. If you look at realistic art, it’s pretty amazing to see how colors and shading create contours that give the image dimension and shape. When sewing¬† fabric, again one starts with a blank “canvas” and as the fabric is manipulated – cut, gathered, stitched, eased – it takes shape. This afternoon I made a carrying bag out of fabric from Africa that I bought at a fundraiser. It took about two hours to cut out the shape and sew, including finishing it with seam binding. When I was done I thought how simple it is to turn a flat piece of fabric into just about anything. I pinned part of the fabric with my left hand and I’m afraid I left some scratch marks on the table surface. My right-handed shears are very sharp but I could not cut the fabric with my left hand; I couldn’t apply the right pressure. I did thread the needle and made tailor tacks with my left hand.

Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.


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