I am guilty of being a bit of an absentee landlord these days, both here and over at the BY HAND blog. But I have gotten organized over the course of the last few days and I promise to do better!

I am in Texas for a few weeks for some personal business, and while I’m away, I have totally Tom Sawyer-ed my dear friend Emily and her daughter Lydia into farm sitting for me, with the able assistance of my BFF Amy. Can I just say that it is humbling to have friends who are willing to do me such enormous favors? And I seem to have a lot of them.

Did I mention that Jack and I drove from Virginia to Texas? With the help of yet another friend? Straight through? I don’t recommend it. Here is what Jack did for 1200 miles:

Speaking of driving, I have to say that I am weirdly proud of the high milage on my car. It’s sort of a reverse-elitism thing, I think. When I was growing up, we lived next door to the richest family in town, and every year they bought two brand-new matching Lincoln Continentals. That seems like something that should have a listing in DSM IV, doesn’t it? I mean, we lived in a tiny town, so the milage must have been really, really low. And also, we lived in a really tiny town, so who exactly were they impressing?

I have no idea whether that little story informs my current pride in owning a car with lots of miles on it or not. Amy’s husband Paul (who dabbles in used car-salesmanship) says that, since the economic downturn, many people are holding on to their cars until they are completely unfixable.  So maybe I’m just on-trend? How many miles are on your car? Do you feel like you need a new one?

So, this happened.

When I was over at Amy’s the a couple weeks ago, her middle daughter (the one who is the most like her Aunt Susan in ways both positive and negative) came outside wearing this. It seems she had been trying since Halloween to convince her seasonally-sensitive family that it was time to start watching Christmas movies, and this was her final appeal.  Dear Lord, I love that child!