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Dear Diary – I took the boys for our annual shearing, and what a mop of hair on the floor when our favourite stylist was done! Youngest Son is scheduled for Grad photos mid-January…and I just wanted a change.

Now that my bangs are shorter and thinner, I can actually see myself in the mirror. I haven’t decided if I like it or not. It’s probably a good sign that the people who saw me this week noticed nothing! So at least it’s not worse than where I started.

A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.

Coco Chanel

Dear Diary – I finished Mom’s Gnome post-Christmas. Unfortunately, Little Gnome got into the pile of candy Eldest Son brought, and put himself in a candy coma.

Dear Diary – It’s a shame people don’t know how to spell; we’ve come to rely on “Spellcheck” too much. I’ll never forget one of my law teachers talking about an administrator who sent out “trail date notices” instead of “trial date notices” because she relied on Spellcheck.

Eldest Son received a new game, or rather an old one. It was, apparently, popular in the 1980’s but I had never heard of it: Airport. But whoever produced the game ought to have proofread the cards more carefully. I’m pretty sure Deijing and Cario are not countries.

I hate spelling errors so much. You mix up two letters and suddenly your post is urined.


Dear Diary – There was a thing on Facebook that said the most popular song on your 23rd birthday will predict to your 2023!

I don’t like my song.

It’s too close to home given what September may (or may not) bring – the sudden and painful first step of Youngest Son leaving the nest for college or Uni.

Unless he doesn’t pass English, in which case, the nest may be full a little longer.

Either way, while it’s true that Youngest Son will always hold a special place in my heart and I love him dearly, the song also held dark and disturbing imagery of a suffocating “Smother Mother“.

We were as one, babe
For a moment in time
And it seemed everlasting
That you would always be mine
Now you want to be free
So I’m lettin’ you fly
‘Cause I know in my heart babe
Our love will never die

No you’ll always be a part of me
I’m part of you indefinitely
Boy don’t you know you can’t escape me
Oh darlin’ ’cause you’ll always be my baby
And we’ll linger on
Time can’t erase a feelin’ this strong
No way you’re never gonna shake me
Oh darlin’ cause you’ll always be my baby

Mariah Carey, Always Be My Baby

Dear Diary – I helped Mom with her quest in life to rid the house of extra crap downsize by bringing home a new piece of furniture. Well, it’s an old piece of furniture but new for me!

I was convinced it would have to wait until another trip to come home because I had all the crap luggage I had brought for the post-Christmas vacation at my folks, as well as the bin of crap stuff Eldest Son picked up for me at the house, because I forgot crap stuff.

Eldest Son was undeterred.

It was a proud Mommy Moment – I have taught my boys how to pack, like a game of Tetris. They not only safely installed the wash stand and buckled it in, but packed all the other stuff in too.

I was tossing the final things in the backseat when I noticed a black blob amongst a collection of fluffy, white circles on the underside of the stand. I blew on the blob…and it moved.

“There’s a spider on that washstand,” I announced. With panic rising in my voice, I also announced, “it’s alive and there are egg sacs. Someone’s got to kill it or get it out! NOW! … Dad?”.

Dad may have considered it “just a little guy” but I disagreed strongly. I stared at the black blob through the open car door as Eldest Son wrestled with the seatbelt, willing the spider to hang tight. “If you lose that spider, I’m not going home,” I declared, still staring. I stared right up until the stand was outside my car. Dad brushed off the spider and the fluff, which turned out to be just fluff and not babies. In my defence, I wasn’t getting close to confirm it.

Disaster averted, the furniture reinstated, I said my good-byes and headed home.

Eldest Son was driving separately and while we left at the same time, we had different stops to make on the way out of town.

We were nearly an hour into our drive when Eldest Son called to see where we were. Did we want to meet for a bite halfway?


I could see his little blue car pulling into the service center as we pulled off the highway. We grabbed a bite. It was a lovely way to round out the holiday…time with my boys.

I wish I had taken a photo.

I watched his little blue car pull away and head for the highway while I pumped gas and I whispered blessings over him.

Now I’m back at home, trying to eliminate tissue paper sparkles and cracker crumbs from the carpet, pack up the decorations, and restore a sense of “normality” at home.

I haven’t been very successful.

Or terribly motivated!

Last night, I found the missing piece for the Swedish Angel Chimes, something I took from my grandparents’ box of decorations. My parents had one too and I remember watching the candles dance and listening to the angels chiming when I was little.

I lit the candles and just sat watching for awhile.

I felt sad and I finally figured out why.

It wasn’t so much because the season was over and I was packing all the pretty things away. It was because I miss the people who made that season special and magical.

I guess there was another truth in my 2023 song by Mariah:

No, you’ll always be a part of me
I’m part of you, indefinitely.