2005-12-31 � New Year's Eve
Well, here we sit on the eve of a whole new year. Man, 2005... what a rollercoaster ride, huh? And I have a big announcement wholly befitting the New Year's Eve thang, but first... a little story. So, this morning, after many promises and much fluttering of the eyelashes, and making with the doe eyes and then plain old out-and-out manipulation, I convinced the Handsome Guy to come out for the morning walk with Finny J. and me, even though it was definitely my turn and in accordance with the strictest terms of our agreement, the HG should have been allowed to lounge around the house in his underoos and socks, shooting the heads of gun-toting zombies and whatnot and snacking on Doritos whilst (whilst!) Finny J. and I braved the elements.

But it was snowing, you see, round confetti snow, glistening-romantic-swoony-wrap-around-your-loved-one and pretend-you-are-trapped-inside-a-snowglobe kind of snow, you know? The kind of snow we haven't had for ages, and certainly not while the Handsome Guy was home. I needed him to come and admire how the snowflakes glistened on my cheeks and eyelashes and stuff (whilst pointedly ignoring the post nasal drip and bad hat hair and general undesirable lumpishness my puffy doggie walking jacket gives me and how my snowpants make those lame swishing noises and make my behind look seriously boxy.)

And so after a prolonged period of pestering, he finally agreed and we hit the trail. And it was snowglobe-y indeed. We took a route that I rarely travel, but love all the same, under a heavy bluegreen canopy of tall pines, near the creek. I chattered on about the colour of shadows (were they more indigo, more violet, or were they perhaps more grey than blue?), where did he think te deer slept, what about the coyotes? I waxed on about the granular texture of the snow, the shapes of pinecones and how grand I thought it would be for us to purchase a Clydesdale, a zippy red sleigh with merry harness of jingle-ty bells whilst (whilst!) he clomped along obligingly, pitching snowballs for Finnegan Hamtongue. Eventually, we came upon a sort of structure someone has erected over time, leaning various fallen but solid limps along the trunk of a huge tumbled oak to create a sort of wigwam/hut thing.

"Oh, look! Look at that! It looks like just Eeyore's house in the Thousand Acre Wood!" I trilled.

"I don't know what Eeyore's house looks like," Johnny Grumble mumbled.

"It looks like that," I replied, ever agreeable, slipping over the path and the pinecone strewn terrain to get to Eeyore's house. I'd passed it many times, but I never once climbed in it. Today, it seemed particularly welcoming. Finny and I and Finny's out-sized and poke-ity stick squeezed in and sat crosslegged on the floor, nestling into the dry, crinkling bed of still vivid maple leaves. We sat for awhile, listening to the whiskery sound of snowflakes coming down, looking at the sky through the triangular spaces between the branches.

"Come! " I ordered Johnny Woodcutter who was lumbering around outside, doing who knows what. "Come! Join us."

And so he came. He sat. He joined us. Finny J. had by now whittled her out-sized and poke-ity stick down to a sad little nubbin and went outside to find another. It was just me and the Handsome Guy, sitting in Eeyore's house in the Thousand Acre Wood listening to the snow whisker down. It was lovely. It was perfect. I think it would not be overstating it to call it a moment of absolute grace. My heart felt full and open and silvery with wonder.

"What are you thinking?" I whispered, moonily, in between the snowflakes, gazing deeply, longingly, lovingly into the velvety depths of my beloved's eyes. "Tell me."

"I'm thinking it would be really freaky if an animal suddenly popped out of the ground here and started gnawing on my ball sack," came his... um... unexpected reply.

"Ball sack?!!" I shrieked. "You are thinking about your ball sack?!! In Eeyore's house? In the Thousand Acre Wood? With the snow whiskering about?!!"

"And animals gnawing on it, don't forget that. Animals. With teeth. Like weasels and badgers," he said, a little defensively. "That would be bad. That would be really, really bad."

"Ball sack?!!" I repeated once again, gaping in disbelief.

"Well, uh, yeah. You would think about your ball sack too. If you had one. You would think about it a lot."

And thus, the snowglobe crashed to the concrete and dashed into a million tiny shards. Some of which somehow wound up embedded in my beloved's ball sack.

Okay, so now's the time for the big announcement. the New Year's Eve one! It's big (the announcement)! Are you ready?!!! Drum roll, please...

A whole new blogging era has begun for me. It's begun for me over here: http://melaniefordwilson.com/blog/ (bookmark that baby now!!) Yes, that's right, http://melaniefordwilson.com is up and running, complete with a big beautiful portfolio prepared for me by the most brilliant and incredible of human beings, Brianna Privett.

Now, my adoration of Brianna Privett goes well beyond her genius with pixels and code, it truly does. And I do truly adore her beyond all reason... of that you can be sure! For one thing, she is utterly rapier-witted. She totally slays me with her sly sense of humour and fantastic word play. And she sings like an angel. Plus, she is warm-hearted, kind, and poetic and understands the importance of seashells and octopuses and colourful phrases and all the STUFF that makes my world go round. I always imagine her in rich autumn colours, like a Renaissance painting. She has that quality about her, that rich, warm, painted-by-Rembrandt velveteeny-ness. She's outstanding and I am most certainly going to sing her praises more and frequently, but shoo! Go check out the new blog! leave me a comment!

We are still tweaking things a bit, particularly with my portfolio, but I'm so thrilled!! But I do caution you... there will be no talk of ball sacks over there on my new blog. Oh no! There will be none of that. Because there is a possibility (although I don't know how real) that impressionable young'uns, children and anklebiters and rug rats and such, could be reading that blog and I don't know FOR SURE, but I'm reasonably certain that talk of ball sacks does not really endear children's illustrators to the Caldecott committee. I'm just saying.

This blog will stay right here and I will maintain it from time to time. Like whenever I feel the need to write about ball sacks. But eventually, as my upgraded Diaryland membership expires, the images will disappear here. Vanish into the ether. But that's okay... there will be plenty to see at my new location.

What are you waiting for? Go, GO!!! Admire me over there!!!

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