As you may have figured out, this week I will be writing about Christmas “stuff”, as well as the emotions that go along with the holidays.  This is a slight departure from the theme, but as you’ll see, not really.

When Kelsea and I were driving back from our Labor Day mother-daughter getaway in Cheyenne, we saw a plume of smoke over the mountains, being buffeted about by high winds.  I said to her, “Uh oh.”  By the time we got to the outskirts of Boulder, this is what we saw:

Uh oh was an understatement.  The Four Mile Fire destroyed 169 homes on the edge of Boulder.  I knew several people who were evacuated, and many who were on edge, but I had not met anyone who had lost their home until Thanksgiving.  One of my fellow dinner guests at the Big House was a gentleman who had lost his home in the fire, and he was still clearly and understandably shell-shocked.

One of the blogs I follow,, wrote today about Andi, a woman who lost everything (except her dog, her kayak and the clothes she had packed for the trip to Port Townsend, where she was when the fire happened) in the fire.  Andi’s award-winning blog can be found at Burning Down the House.

In order to bring holiday cheer to what has been a dark time, Nellie (Andi’s dog) is hoping to receive Christmas cards from all over the world.  The cards brighten little Nellie’s mood, and everyone, including dogs, needs that at this time of year.  So I’m asking my friends in the blogosphere around this earth to take five minutes out of their day, and send a card to Nellie at this address:

Princess Nellie
c/o Chautauqua Main Office
900 Baseline Road
Boulder, CO  80302

It will make us all have a little merrier Christmas and spread a little more love.  That’s always a good thing.  Let’s show Nellie that love is something no fire can destroy.

Gratitudes: Christmas Trees, the upcoming Lunar Eclipse (even if I’m not awake for it), warm winters, power strips, pork green chile.