The 2021 Christmas Newsletter

Salutations, mon ami.

Lest you think this is one of those sweet family newsletters full of accomplishments, exotic travels, and perfectly manicured photographs, I shall remind you that I have a full sized bathtub sitting on my bed right now. I just made a drug run to Target for a sister who tested positive for the ‘Rona. And my nails are chewed down to the nubbins because, life.

Compared to the 2020 Newsletter, this one feels hazy, but slightly more constructive.

I think the photo above captures the general #mood. If there’s one thing the Covid kitten taught me, it’s that naps are good, kibble is better, and for a truly uplifting experience, nothing beats shredding an entire roll of toilet paper. Indy is over sixteen pounds and spoiled rotten. It obviously works for him.

The beloved Hubbs hired a contractor to build us a bathroom. The one I gutted almost two years ago. The contractor showed up every day with a smile, worked hard, and only swore in Finnish. He is my new favorite person. We have had bathroom parts and boxes strewn across the whole house for weeks. I cannot overemphasize the level of chaos here, but if the bathroom gets DONE, I will put up with almost any amount of it.

I don’t want you to think the bathroom is the final destination, though. No. We’ve been using the guest bathroom and apparently it was designed just for looks, not actual bathing, because now it not only needs to be gutted but ALSO the entire property because Kid #4 went and got engaged and the happy couple decided the perfect venue was, um, here.

Let’s take a deep, cleansing breath. Good.

They are mostly after the giant oaks in the backyard, but I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. A wedding means winery-quality ambiance. Mood lighting. Archways. A balcony for the mariachi band harpist. Bribing the neighbors with cake. Underground parking. They set the date for next November, so we have plenty of time to run around the place shrieking in panic. The boys took out a massive hornet nest the other day, so we are on our way!

Other than that, Kid #4 is doing fine.

Hubby, too.

Did I mention Kid #4 moved across town? No? And Kid #1 moved down from LA and took his room? Okay. Back up. They did.

Kid #5 and Kid #1 are living downstairs and it’s fun to watch a 20-year-old and a 30-year-old together. They are both passionate about art and craft magic in the basement. The elder makes a living with it, though, so it’s only a matter of time before he’s out again. I miss him already. Thankfully, the younger still has to graduate college as a mechanical engineer. It’ll be awhile, but I love that they inspire and encourage each other.

Kid #3 lives in Los Angeles and manages a Kahoots Pet Store and took her dog to the snow the other day. Communication is not her forte, but this vid clip pretty much sums up her year:

Kid #2 graduated this weekend with her “Master of Arts in Education: Learning and Technology” and has the pointy cape hooden thingy to prove it. Afterward, she and the fiancés went to see Hamilton. I’m still jealous. She’s already got teaching jobs lined up and I’m happy to say she’s staying local for the time being.

That’s all I can remember from this second year of pandemic. I kept my head down and got some books written and frankly, it’s time for a nap. We wish you peace and joy in the coming year.

More kibble.

Less panic.

All the bubble baths.

The Maelstrom

My kid stepped on a screw last week. He went through the garage barefoot to take out the trash and started hollering. When I answered his warbles, he calmly asked me to unscrew the screw sticking out of his heel. To do this properly, you have to turn it ‘Lefty Lucy’.

Later, after a trip to urgent care, some X-rays, a new Darth Vader boot, and a tetanus shot, he rode the whole way home updating his social media accounts.

“Seriously kid?”

“If I don’t post it,” he said, “it didn’t happen.”

“Oh, it happened. It was disgusting.”

Silence. More tapping.

A long, long time ago, somewhere off the northwest coast of Norway, a Viking discovered a swirling vortex of death, a tornado made out of ocean, and just said no to the maelstrom. Have you seen the movie, Sharknado“? This is how I feel when surrounded with social media. My kid was sucked in willingly and I never heard from him again. The kraken got him.

It’s his own fault.

In the meantime, I’ve created accounts on Instagram, YouTube, Goodreads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and three – count em, three – Facebook thingys. One of which is a Private Group called Jolie Tunnell’s Earlybirds“, which is basically a book club. I’ve got a website, a business, a blog, and a book to maintain.

So, I’ve set my own vortex into motion, spinning in happy little currents, and as the tide goes in and out, I wonder how much time I have left before it traps me. At its center is my newsletter. Everything else is attached to it in some way and that feels like the right direction for this year. Lefty Lucy. If you want to know what happened to Jolie, read the newsletter.

Which, by the way, I may have accidentally on purpose signed you up for already. I knew you wouldn’t mind. But if you do, there’s this cool button called “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of it that will make it all go away. It has adorable palm trees in the title so you can find it in your inbox but I think most of them landed in your trash. You’d best go dive in there and save it from last month.

🌴

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Enjoy.