Belated AND unfinished! What more can you ask for?

So, um, yeah!  It’s January 29th, so:

Years ago, my husband (with a little bit of help from me) wrote some Christmas/New Year’s letters that were, quite frankly, hilarious. They came about in response to the “shiny & glowing” letters we receive from various people during the holidays – we knew we weren’t accomplishing very much! – and also because I was getting tired of writing the same things again & again in more than a hundred Christmas cards.

One of my sisters-in-law kept them all and gave them back to me a few years ago; I’ve hoped to post them here but I’m such a s-l-o-w typist that hasn’t yet happened. It could happen….

The last funny letter came out right around ten years ago as email became widespread for North Americans – no more spending $ to print and mail them to everyone – and the letters stopped.  I cannot really explain why they stopped since I don’t really understand it myself – it’s really a Studmuffin thing and I’ll leave it like that.

This year I wanted to do one so I started started writing one during the last 2 weeks of December and didn’t finish it. SURPRISE!  I know you’re shocked….Oh, I had hoped to finish it with Studmuffin’s help but no dice. He straight up REFUSED to have anything to do with it (which is really too bad because he’s WAY funnier than I am).  Still, I think what I have so far is somewhat amusing and since y’all are being so patient with me while my writing mojo has been almost completely devoured by “the book” I thought y’all deserved to read it.  Also ‘cos I want to trash the sticky note reminder about the silly thing since we’re already at the end of January 2013.  Kill two birds, eh? I hope you like.


Mele Kaliki makaa everybody! And Hyvää Uutta Vuotta!

The end of the Mayan calendar proved to be such a non-event on December 20th, that we thought it was time to start some NEW doomsday rumors – HEY Y’ALL The WORLD is ENDING!  How do I know? The reappearance of the helenkosings family letter.  Are you frightened?  Stocking up on canned goods yet?  Just checking….

Yup, in a way we were kinda hoping that the destruction of the earth was actually gonna happen; then we wouldn’t have to fix the fuse box after our small electrical fire on December 19th so we could can have hot water again… but such is life!

Since we last wrote one of these, our eldest (aka “No. 1 Son”)  has: graduated high school, went to college, dropped out, moved home, moved to NY, moved to LA (Lower Alabama), moved home again, went to college again, moved out again, dropped out again, got a job and somewhere in the midst of all this turned 24 years old. He has a beard, a car, a fiancee and the same wonderfully sardonic sense of humor for which he is known.  In the future, he’ll probably get a mention in these letters for major life happenings – mainly ‘cos he is pretty much grown and more than capable of penning his own messages (plus he really hates it when I write anything at all about him. I can do it this time ‘cos I’m still his momma…so there!).

The Duke of Curl is now 17 and has become very tall, hella funny and, um,  rather hairy. Like under his chin – sort of like a scraggly Abe Lincoln without the cheekbones and steely gaze.

Like this but not as groovy

Like this but not as groovy

He’s spent the last 2 summers mostly lifeguarding at the neighborhood pool which not only involved many, many hours of boring sitting in the sun but also included eating lots & lots of hot dogs – all for pay. He plans to do more of the above this summer after graduating from high school in May. Any talk of applying to college or taking a gap year is drowned out by the sound of endless computer games and/or snoring (frequent naps are part of his style, along with cargo pants & plaid shorts). Fortunately, the school district gave every single school kid a laptop this year, so he may never actually have to speak to us face-to-face again ever.

The Duke of Curl’s grandmother (on Studmuffin’s side) took The Duke of Curl, his best friend & Studmuffin to California for a fabulous trip last June. They spent a couple of weeks riding roller coasters up and down the California coast (well Studmuffin & Grandmother didn’t go on the roller coasters) starting in San Diego, driving up through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Monterey, Sacremento and back down to San Diego (not necessarily in that order).  Highlights of the trip were: Monterey Bay Aquarium, annoying & very LOUD sea lions, a tour of a factory that puts together UAVs (aka “drones” – Studmuffin works on these now), the computer museum, Muir Woods and a truly awful meal of Chicken Parmesan.

The Force of Nature is now 14 and delighted that she’ll be taller than her mother at any moment now (if she isn’t already). She started high school this year, is in the Visual Arts magnet and LOVES high school -mainly because it isn’t homeschooling.  She has discovered the delights of friendship, made several friends who are girls (99% of her friends up to now have been boys) – nice girls even, but that hasn’t cut down her penchant for cussing as much as possible one bit. She is learning to draw well, continues to sculpt in her favorite medium (cardboard), has progressed quite a bit in her piano studies, loathes her dorky & embarassing parents and uses the homeless as her fashion icons. She will also be going on a fabulous trip with her Grandmother in the next year or so.

This is a representation of a daily occurrence when the FoN is in a **good** mood….

[Note: this draft has been on my computer desktop since December & the Force of Nature has read it and typed in her own comment, which I give to you verbatim:”YOU GODDAMN LIAR I JUST LIKE FLANNEL AND PLAID”]

Charming, n’est-ce pas?  I cannot hardly wait to see how the age of fifteen will go……starts in April.

Studmuffin has discovered Netflix and so any hopes he had of running “that marathon one day” have been shelved indefinitely, unless something awful happens like Netflix going under (talk about ‘doomsday”…). Who could blame him? Who wouldn’t give up their dreams of fitness and glory (hell, just being able to look down & see one’s own feet again) for such cineastic delights such as “Dagmar’s Hot Pants, Inc”* & “Stripperland”*? But perhaps all is not lost – an indoor pool is opening on the Arsenal and they will be open in the early morning; plans for swimming are brewing.


*These are actual titles of films he’s watched.

Citizen Kane Clapping from

Along with greying & some hair loss, Studmuffin has been threatening to go completely “grumpy old guy” on us, but we all just laugh at him and suggest that 52 years of age is a wee bit too young for that – especially when so many of one’s own family regularly live past 95, so he’s only just past halfway.


As for me, I’m writing a book – but sort of. Not. I really AM writing a book, but I’m having a tough time actually doing the writing.  Writing is challenging enough, but it seems as if there’s precious little time between letting the dogs out, cleaning up cat vomit, taking forgotten items to the high school, answering the phone, letting the dogs in, letting them out again, then letting the cat in and out and in and out and in and out; it’s all slowed things considerably.  Pinterest & Bejeweled Blitz have NOTHING to do with it. Stop laughing RIGHT NOW. I think I have half of the book done, but it is hard to know.  My brain “thing” I’ve had since Jan 2005 continues its long, slow downward slide. I cannot multi-task at all now, interruptions are major derailments for my train of thought and I constantly misspell words I know well.


Fortunately, I forget most of the time that I forget everything now – simple and/or complex,important or trivial makes no difference- so I might just be happier than I’ve ever been.  How should I know? I can’t remember.  :o)


There was gonna be more about me – mostly about gardening & knitting & some about the pets but that’s it.


  1. Your mom shared a few of your Christmas letters with me. They were wonderful.

    I asked this someplace else, but I can’t remember where. So, if you answered my question, I still am wondering: what is your book about?

  2. reply to Roberta St. Jean: I’m sorry – I thought I’d already said. It’s a book about using music and singing to increase the spiritual fervor of worship and to help build community; one might think it’s a kind of manual. It is aimed at Baha’is but could be useful to many folks.

    Thanks for asking!

  3. I’ve spent lots of time in churches, staring at hymnals and pretending to sing unsingable songs, feeling no spiritual fervor whatsoever. Never saw a book like yours. Sounds fascinating. By the way, you could have answered me five times already, Helen, and I apologize if I forgot or didn’t see your answer. I enjoyed reading about your procrastination techniques. I amaze myself at what I can put in the way of writing. I will even clean house.


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