Lily! 9! The first week of December is already in the rear view mirror.


So it’s time for week one of December’s Top Picks! Since you’re our resident skeptic, Lily, you go first.

I cast my vote for Sherpa socks.


Lily’s top pick: Sherpa socks!



A toasty warm choice indeed. We had our inaugural experience with Sherpa socks last holiday season, having received a pair for Christmas. I was skeptical- -machine-knit socks lined with artificial sheep and skid-preventing rubberized nodules on the sole?


They do look a little weird. Unless you’re driving a dogsled or something.


Interesting observation, 9. Once we put them on they were cozy as the dickens. Last year’s pair received so much use they had holes in the soles. The ones in the picture are our 2023 edition, purchased at BiMart in a Black Friday presale for 50% off!


Every morning last week we entertained ourselves with Advent Bowl and four (count ‘em, four!) Advent calendars. Trinkets for book lovers, jams, a puzzle, self-care- -any favorites here, 9?


Gosh, I don’t know, all the stuff together has seemed like one big party.


True. Here are some pictures of what’s happened so far:


Top Pick: Advent puzzle!


Top Pick: Book lover trinkets!


Top Pick: Yummy toppings for toast!



Top Pick: self-care!



The very best part about the Advent calendars: texting photos of each installment every morning to the givers- -a light-hearted way to share the holiday season from a distance.




As for Advent Bowl, so far we’ve put the Christmas CDs in the player and done these:


Top Pick: Advent Bowl, now in its fifth year!


For “a local holiday event” we’re going to the Holiday Market at the Fairgrounds Saturday morning. It promises “handmade items.” I hope to find some things to complete my holiday gift shopping, maybe even something for the two of you.


The suspense is killing me.


Glad to hear it, Lily.


The rice pudding was yummy.


We make it from a single-serving recipe that, miraculously, feeds all three of us.


We’re going to Spanish language Mass on Saturday.


Something I’ve wanted to do since taking Spanish 121 at Walla Walla Community College, winter quarter 2020. My Spanish is minimal but since I know the script I’m hoping my comprehension will be decent. Either way, it will be a treat to hear the language flow.


For Hoosegow’s Christmas story we chose the perennial favorite, Wind in the Willows, Chapter Five “Dulce Domum.” Hard to beat Mole’s reunion with his beloved home, especially with the added feature of caroling mice! Kenneth Grahame tucked in some dandy alliterations that make reading it out loud extra fun.


Under-eye gel patches were a new experience. What did you think?


Kind of slimy at first.

But overall very soothing and moisturizing.


Agreed, on both counts- -look to repeat this one in the near future. And you can’t go wrong with a bubble bath:


Top Pick: A soak at the end of a long, busy week!





Okay, my turn for a December top pick: rehearsing for The Nutcracker!



I’m having lots of fun, rehearsing with kids and grownups and working under excellent direction in a focused, positive environment. The kids are rehearsing most days now. The full cast will likely be rehearsing every night next week, culminating with the performance Saturday evening. For time, place and ticket details, go here:


It’s been one busy week! Warm stuff, festive stuff, performing stuff, plus Christmas gift making, shopping and shipping, and the usual hours of writing, workouts and on-demand sessions of brushing Hoosegow.


Wishing you all a rush of Merry Top Picks Madness in the coming weeks!

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