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So I have no real excuse for not posting. Nothing really preventing me from writing from time to time. Just lack of inclination, I guess.

We put up our Christmas Tree last night. This was our fifth Christmas Tree together, fourth that we've decorated together. We picked it out at Whole Foods last night because Graham is allergic to the cedar trees from the ranch. And it's really pretty. I think about seven feet tall. After Graham got it up, I put all the big butterfly ornaments at the top, and then I filled in with sparkle sticks from Pier1, and then I strategically placed a half dozen mardi gras/carnival style masks all over the tree. Fill in with ornaments--mine and Graham's--and voila, a sparkly pretty Christmas Tree. The rest of the living and dining rooms got Christmasfied, and we were good to go for the holiday season. Graham already has presents under the tree, and soon, Celosa will have items in her stocking. Relampago HATED that he couldn't get to the bones in his stocking, but no one else seemed to care.

I'm waiting on the final approval so we can set a date to close for the refinancing of my house. I think everything is in order, but you never know with banks these days. Once that happens, I'll have a nice chunk freed up so buying a new car won't be so painful, and I'm hoping to be able to do that the last week of December. It'll be so nice to have my own car again. I've been driving the Suburban since the accident, and it's been great to have, but it was purchased the same week that I got Relampago 19 years ago. It's generally reliable, but it's an elderly car. I hear that newfangled cars have things like MP3 player hookups and the like. Unless something goes terribly wrong, we'll be getting a Jetta Sportswagen TDI, which has really awesome gas mileage. My mom got one in January, and it's a pretty awesome vehicle.

The Christmas Tree Cutting party was a blast, as usual. I went up a few days early with my mom to help her, since Jose is in Michigan. The dogs had a BLAST. I think the three of them ran for two days straight, then went to the party, then passed out. The best part for Celosa and Zapata was Grise.

Grise is a cat who showed up a few months ago. Because she helps keep the rodent population down, we've been feeding her and encouraging her to consider the ranch her home. She's feral, but you can tell that she craves company. She just doesn't know how to initiate or appreciate it. Whenever we're outside, she is usually within a 12 yard radius. She meows for attention, but whenever anyone tries to engage her, she runs. A few weeks ago, my mom and I were there to do some wedding planning without the dogs, and she followed us all over the property. At one point, we paused to admire some deer standing about 100 yards away, and she came over and rubbed up on my mom's legs. The second we paid attention to her, though, she bolted. At any rate, she's a cat who wants to be friendly, but doesn't know how. The dogs, especially Zapata, have been obsessed with finding her. They'd see her sometimes, smell or hear her others, and then give hunt. It was great fun for everyone to go find the cat. At one point, she was fifteen feet up a tree, meowing, and the dogs were going crazy trying to find her. She was perfectly safe. Great fun.

Wedding planning continues. We found a restaurant in Giddings who will cater at a great price. Food, appetizers, and most importantly staff all included. And they have a line on inexpensive tables and chairs too. I've been there twice now, and the food is outstanding. The carnitas were out of this world good, and the chicken enchiladas were phenomenal.

I bought fabric for the first of the decorations, and I think my sister and I will work on them over the holiday. We've been spreading rye grass over the areas where the ceremony will take place, and over Thanksgiving, we planted 190 daffodil bulbs. My mom is going crazy with the garden. Graham is beginning to conceptualize the lighting and sound plan. I think everything is going to look so beautiful by the time the wedding rolls around.

Next week, I'm sending in my measurements for my wedding dress. I'm pretty excited about it, and I can't wait to see what it finally looks like. I'm half tempted to give ya'll the site of the dressmaker, but it might ruin my big entrance. I'll probably end up having to alter the dress when it gets here in 10 to 12 weeks, though. I've lost 20 pounds in the last six months, and I am on pace to lose another 20 to 25 by the time the wedding. Because of the whole wanting-to-make-babies-soon thing (and a higher than I liked blood sugar level at my last annual appointment) I want to be as healthy as possible after the wedding, and I've been working with a nutritionist in a 24 week program that's been pretty good so far. I'm also exercising quite a bit more now, which is something that has slacked considerably in the last few years. I'm hoping to run a half-marathon in January, but I think that I'll actually push that back to February for fear of injuring myself by pushing too hard.

Graham's djing on Friday and Saturday nights now at Prohibition. They're doing a PG rated Burlesque performance on Saturday, and he's MCing that on top of the djing. I think he's enjoying it, and he's slowly upgrading his equipment. By the time the wedding rolls around, he may not need to outsource anything for sound, except maybe a microphone.

I think I'm more or less recovered from the accident. The one residual effect is that I'm not all that good about negotiating with the insurance company. I talked to an attorney a month or two ago, and he thought they were offering too low, but if I hire an attorney, the attorney will take a good hunk of my recovery. I have drafted a demand letter, and it's in the hands of a litigator friend before I send it out. Part of me wants this to just be over, and part of me is just so upset that the destruction of my psyche for three months is worth so little that I want to fight and fight and fight. Especially because the other driver is challenging his ticket. In September I got a note that I was subpoenaed to testify in the criminal trial. Guy nearly kills me, my fiance and my dog, got away with a $270 ticket for "failure to maintain lane", and he wants to fight??? Graham and I went to court on October 25. The prosecutor asked us if we wanted to fight since the cop who issued the ticket wasn't going to make it. I said yes. It turned out that some of the paperwork was screwed up in the prosecution, and the case was dismissed. But because we were there and wanted to fight, the prosecutor refiled and we are going back in March, two weeks before our wedding. May, June and July were just awful, awful months. Probably the worst of my life. I still am afraid of driving in a lot of situations, and I still have flashbacks. The therapy helped, but most of this is going to be time. Once I get the demand letter out to the insurance company, I'll feel better, though I know that they're not going to accept what I'm asking for. I've had this huge mental block about engaging with them, which of course, stems from the accident.

I think that's most of the news that's fit to print for the moment. There are tons of other things, I'm sure. And I hope I can write more. I like this.