The Respite Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve



my living room, slimpaley.comSlim Paley photo


I love the period of respite right after Christmas Day and before New Year’s Eve when everything feels so much calmer, like a clock slowly winding down and being left to sit, before rewinding to commence another year. I adore the laziness of leftovers, playing with the toys, the tactile excitement of sifting through new books.  Other than the week we spring forward for long summer days, I think this could be my favourite time of year.

.Last night the roast beef and Yorkshire puddings were a great success.  I made the Yorkshires both ways-in muffin tins and a loaf pan and I must say for about 15 seconds the loaf was absolutely spectacular, before deflating in the centre like the Balloon-Trash Family’s Misadventure.

Slim Paley photo

.Back in October I wrote a post called “Paper Weight” in which I mentioned that all the catalogues I receive, especially at this time of year, drive me insane. So I decided to keep all the ones I received  from December 1st to December 25th just to see how much paper was wasted (I never ordered anything BTW)


Slim Paley photo

.And meanwhile, just outside my desk window…

Slim Paley photo

3 times I have removed this spider’s web (I call her Rachel U.), and 3 times she has returned in a matter of a day! Exposing her squishy underbelly with some sort of black tattoo indicating “Deadly Poisonous” at me through the window by my desk-ugh-revolting.  My plumber assures me that she is not lethal (I didn’t call the plumber for the spider, BTW) I haven’t seen her catch one thing yet so I’m quite convinced that despite her size, she is either anorexic or one of those midnight closet-eaters.  I know it is hard to tell in the photo, but I would estimate her size to be, oh about 16 catalogues.

But then again,

This is also what we get to enjoy in Santa Barbara in December…

Slim Paley photo

Slim Paley photos

All from my garden, December 26th


xox SP





  1. Rachel is absolutely exquisite and quite an inquisitive blogger,
    just look at the reflection in your window….:-)
    Your garden roses are divine….she must love them.

  2. ‘Twas the month after Christmas and all through the house,
    Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse,

    I’d remembered the marvelous meals I’d prepared;
    the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rare,
    The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese,
    and the way I’d never said:
    “No, thank-you, please.”

    I’m hungry and lonesome,
    and life is a bore,
    but isn’t that what January’s for?

    Unable to laugh, no longer a riot,
    Happy New Year to All, and to all a good diet’

    abridged: ‘The New Yorker’, January, 1929

  3. I am assuming Rachel U. is referring to Tiger Woods’ #1 Mistress. Her name is Rachel Uchitel, pronounced Yu-Ka-Tel And in the famous words of Joy Behar, You Ka Tell That spider can weave a nasty web…nasty enough to catch a tiger, no?
    By the way, the thing that allows me to find at least ONE bit of humor in an otherwise horribly painful experience for Mrs. Tiger Woods is that all the mistresses were “crushed” when they found about about the other mistresses…like they weren’t the # 1 mistress. U Ki Tel they are stooopid.
    Other than all of the above, your post is gorgeous. Happy New Year, Slim, something I won’t be since I can’t stop eating.

  4. HHmmm… year-end reflections… and dice with the number 5 are in your future…. check Rachel’s picture again…. she’s the Charlotte of Craps games everywhere. 🙂 Happy Happy, Slim…. your blog is a great accomplishment for ’09 and beyond, and a bright spot in my week.

  5. HI! Don’t kill it! harmless! Rachel U!!

    Orb-Weaving Spiders …low risk – non-aggressive

    Venom toxicity – the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night – the fright of this spider crawling over one’s face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds.
    Spider Identification – an adult is about 2/3 to more than 1 inch in body length – has a bulbous abdomen – often colorful – dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver Spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs.
    Habitat – often found in summer in garden areas around the home – they spin a large circular web of 6 feet or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes.

  6. What do you feed your roses? Yours are gorgeous. I have a nice first bloom of Spring in Southern California and then so-so. Thank you!

Would love to hear from you!