In Hog Heaven / En el Cielo de Cierdo

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I DEBATED FOR days whether or not I would get out some of our holiday (aka Christmas) decorations. San Geraldo and I have quite the collection. Before our move to Spain, when we were cutting down on our “stuff,” I reduced eight large Rubbermaid tubs and two partitioned ornament boxes to only two large Rubbermaid tubs. And we still have a lot of stuff!

Every year, I would unpack all the ornaments. We’d put on holiday music and we’d string popcorn, pasta, and cranberries for garlands to wrap the tree. San Geraldo strung the lights and then lasted about 10 minutes hanging ornaments. I did the rest. When Christmas was over, I stripped the tree and meticulously (of course) repacked the lights and decorations until the next year. Before Christmas 1999 in San Francisco, after 18 years of the same routine, San Geraldo told me he didn’t think he was in the mood to decorate for Christmas that year. “It’s just so much work to get everything out and then rewrap every single thing and put it all away. I asked, “When have you ever gotten anything out or put anything away?” “Oh, never mind.” By that time, we had an artificial tree that was pre-strung with lights. He didn’t do a thing.

Christmas 2011 in Sevilla, our first in Spain, we had three small Christmas trees and all our decorations were on display. We didn’t have Dudo and Moose.

Our American cats, Dobie and Maynard, had absolutely no interest in our Christmas tree. It was surprising, but also a huge relief. Our Spanish cats, on the other hand (or paw), couldn’t be left alone for a minute. As far as they’re concerned, nothing is off limits. More toys!

One year here in Fuengirola, I strung all our picture frames with garland and attached the ornaments out of reach of the cats. I thought it was hideous. I finally decided this year to get out mostly what can sit on tables and, except for an initial inspection, wouldn’t be of much interest to our two juvenile delinquents. I also made use of some wine glasses (behind a glass door) and light fixtures.

The photo at the top of the page is one of two hand-carved angels brought back from Italy by our friend Leslie in San Diego. They used to hang on our Christmas tree every year. When we moved to Fuengirola, I spray painted this one and decided it deserved a permanent home atop the grandfather clock. So, what better place for the hand-blown glass pig? This is what I meant by “Hog Heaven.”

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DEBATÍ DURANTE DÍAS si saldría o no de algunas de nuestras decoraciones navideñas. San Geraldo y yo tenemos toda la colección. Antes de mudarnos a España, cuando estábamos reduciendo nuestras “cosas”, reduje ocho tinas grandes de Rubbermaid y dos cajas de adornos divididos a solo dos tinas grandes de Rubbermaid. ¡Y todavía tenemos muchas cosas!

Cada año, desempacaba todos los adornos. Pusimos música navideña y de Janucá y ensartamos palomitas de maíz, pasta, y arándanos para guirnaldas para envolver el árbol. San Geraldo colgó las luces y luego duró unos 10 minutos colgando adornos. Yo hice el resto. Cuando terminó la Navidad, desnudé el árbol y volví a empacar meticulosamente (por supuesto) las luces y las decoraciones hasta el año siguiente. Antes de Navidad de 1999 en San Francisco, después de 18 años de la misma rutina, San Geraldo me dijo que no creía que estuviera de humor para decorar para Navidad ese año. “Es mucho trabajo sacar todo y luego volver a envolver cada cosa y guardarlo todo.” Le pregunté: ““¿Cuándo has sacado algo o guardado algo?” “Oh, no importa”, En ese momento, teníamos un árbol artificial que estaba pre-encadenado con luces. No hizo nada.

La Navidad de 2011 en Sevilla, nuestra primera en España, teníamos tres pequeños árboles de Navidad y todas nuestras decoraciones estaban en exhibición. No teníamos Dudo y Moose.

Nuestros gatos estadounidenses, Dobie y Maynard, no tenían absolutamente ningún interés en nuestro árbol de Navidad. Fue sorprendiente, pero también un gran alivio. Nuestros gatos españoles, por otro lado (o pata), no podían quedarse solos por un minuto. Nada está fuera de los límites, en lo que a ellos respecta. Juguetes!

Un año aquí en Fuengirola, colgué todos nuestros marcos con guirnaldas y coloqué los adornos fuera del alcance de los gatos. Pensé que era horrible. Finalmente decidí este año sacar casi todo lo que se puede sentar en las mesas y, a excepción de una inspección inicial, no sería de mucho interés para nuestros dos delincuentes juveniles. También utilicé algunas copas de vino (detrás de una puerta de vidrio) y accesorios de iluminación.

La foto de arriba es uno de los dos ángeles tallados a mano traídos de Italia por nuestra amiga Leslie en San Diego. Solían colgar en nuestro árbol de Navidad todos los años. Cuando nos mudamos a Fuengirola, pinté con spray este y decidí que merecía un hogar permanente encima del reloj de pie. Entonces, ¿qué mejor lugar para el cerdo de vidrio? Esto es lo que quise decir con “El Cielo de Cerdo”. No creo que la expresión “en el cielo de cerdo” tenga ningún significado en español, pero en inglés describe un estado o situación extremadamente satisfactorio.

A nisse in Norwegian is a sprite/gnome/elf/troll from mythological folklore. These are “julenisse,” in more modern times became the bearers of Christmas presents.They can be temperamental, though, so be sure to leave them at least a bowl of porridge with butter on Christmas Eve. We brought these two back from Bergen in 1998.
Un nisse en noruego es un sprite / gnomo / elfo / troll del folklore mitológico. Estos son “julenisse”, en tiempos más modernos se convirtieron en los portadores de los regalos de Navidad. Sin embargo, pueden ser temperamentales, así que asegúrese de dejarles al menos un plato de gachas con mantequilla en la víspera de Navidad. Trajimos a estos dos de Bergen en 1998.
San Geraldo’s second-cousin Inger and her husband, Jan Olaf, brought this julenisse to us in Santa Barbara from Bergen during Christmas 2004.
Inger, una prima segunda de San Geraldo, y su marido, Jan Olaf, nos trajeron este julenisse en Santa Bárbara desde Bergen durante la Navidad de 2004.
San Geraldo’s second-cousin Ellen made these nisser (plural) for us as a gift for our Christmas visit to Bergen in 2005.
La prima segunda de San Geraldo, Ellen, nos hizo estos nisser (plural) como un regalo para nuestra visita de Navidad a Bergen en 2005.
Our nephews, Ryan and Matt, sent us a Santa every year. I don’t think they KNOW they sent us a Santa every year because the handwriting always looked like their mother Linda’s. We love them (and our nephews) and any time I see them (or our nephews) my heart is filled with love.
Nuestros sobrinos, Ryan y Matt, nos enviaron un Santa cada año. No creo que sepan que nos enviaron un Papá Noel todos los años porque la letra siempre se parecía a la de su madre Linda. Los amamos (y a nuestros sobrinos) y cada vez que los veo (o nuestros sobrinos) mi corazón se llena de amor.
We bought the ones on the right and left above for ourselves in Santa Barbara between 2003 and 2007.
Compramos los de la derecha y la izquierda arriba para nosotros en Santa Bárbara entre 2003 y 2007.
We brought back the “Bobble Santa” from Norway, Christmas 2005.
Trajimos de vuelta el “Cabezon Papá Noel” de Noruega, la Navidad de 2005.
These are some of the stitchery ornaments made by SG over the years.
Estos son algunos de los adornos de costura hechos por SG a lo largo de los años.
I produced Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. SG did the rest.
Produje a Rudolph, el reno de nariz roja. SG hizo el resto.
Made for me Christmas 1982. Our second Christmas together. On the back SG stitched “For MSB, 1982.”
Hecho para mí la Navidad de 1982. Nuestra segunda Navidad juntos. En la parte posterior, SG cosió “Para MSB, 1982”.
SG’s mother, Alice, made this for him before we met. He placed it in this plastic box frame and we have said for 38 years that we need to get it blocked, mounted, and framed properly. This is the year it will be done.
La madre de SG, Alice, hizo esto para él antes de conocernos. Lo colocó en este marco de caja de plástico y hemos dicho durante 38 años que necesitamos bloquearlo, montarlo y enmarcarlo adecuadamente. Este es el año que se hará.
This is from a box of cards given to us by a friend in Boston. The row house in center with the blacked out windows is where we lived on Beacon Hill our first year together. The writer Henry James lived next door (but not at the same time).
Esto es de una caja de tarjetas que nos dio un amigo en Boston. La casa adosada en el centro con las ventanas oscurecidas es donde vivíamos en Beacon Hill nuestro primer año juntos.
The giraffe ornament was purchased by My Mother the Dowager Duchess during a trip the three of us took to San Francisco 1987; it was her 60th birthday and my father had died three months earlier. (I collected giraffes at the time… because I was built like one.)
Mi madre, la duquesa viuda, me compró el adorno de jirafa durante un viaje que los tres llevamos a San Francisco en 1987; era su 60 cumpleaños y mi padre había muerto tres meses antes. (Recogí jirafas en ese momento … porque fui construido como uno).
Our Guilford, Connecticut, friends, Daisy and Cesar, gave SG these ballet slippers in 1992, the year he debuted as a (retired) prima ballerina for Halloween. Daisy had done his make-up. (Click here.)
Nuestros amigos de Guilford, Connecticut, Daisy y Cesar, le dieron a SG estas zapatillas de ballet en 1992, el año en que debutó como una bailarina principal (retirada) para Halloween. Daisy se había puesto el maquillaje de Jerry. (Haz clic aquí.)
Cesar and Daisy had this made for us by their friend who was a glass blower; our last Christmas in Connecticut before our move to San Diego.
César y Daisy nos hicieron esto por su amigo que era un soplador de vidrio; nuestra última Navidad en Connecticut antes de mudarnos a San Diego.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

23 thoughts on “In Hog Heaven / En el Cielo de Cierdo”

  1. Dobie and Maynard – pop culture reference! 🙂

    my late meredith kitty was a tree freak. when she crossed over (january 2015), we buried her with her favorite bell ornament.

    my blogger friend sassybear would LOVE that giraffe ornament!

    I didn’t know SG did needlepoint!

    1. Anne Marie,
      I wanted a female cat so w could name her Zelda, but we found two brothers, both black and hard to adopt out, so we got Dobie and Maynard instead. I don’t why it mattered. I once heard SG tell someone they were named after characters from Gilligan’s Island! Dobie Gillis never made it a little his house in South Dakota.

    1. David,
      Six hours! I would never do it again if it took that long. That’s either a 30-foot tree or Jay is more obsessive compulsive than me!

  2. Again, Carlos and SG …separated at birth. Starting last year Carlos helped me get the boxes down, and then i do all the decorating.
    After Christmas, I do the undecorating and he helps put all the boxes back.
    All the while saying it’s so much to do at the holidays.

    Love your ornaments and tchotchkes.

    Our cats don’t really bother the tree, though Consuleo loved to sleep beneath it. it’s waiting for her ….

    1. Bob,
      It’s fascinating how surprising cat behavior can be. Dudo and Moose would I’m sure climb the tree. It’s also amazing how similar SG and Carlos continue to be.

  3. Such beautiful, varied and whimsical ornaments! Did San Geraldo’s mother teach him how to embroider so beautifully? It’s a lost art these days.

    1. Debra,
      SG’s mother actually only did basic counted cross stitch. My mother was expert. But SG taught himself with those first ornaments in 1982. He’s done some stunning work since then. My mother praised his fine stitching.

    1. Mistress Maddie,
      If I waited until mid-December, I wouldn’t do it at all. I’m tempted to take out the containers again and pull out a few more ornaments.

  4. I’d say your Christmas ornament collection is perfect! …..diverse and interesting.
    The ‘boys’ ought to have a great time this year!!

  5. Excellent cat proofing idea with the wineglasses holding up some of your precious ornaments. I love your Santa collection. I didn’t put out all my stuff this year – it is a hassle….but I do love Christmas and keep collecting those vintage and antique ornaments so I guess it is just laziness!

    1. Cheapchick,
      I love the memories that return when I unpack the ornaments. They were all either gifts or souvenirs from our travels.

  6. A friend makes a tree shape with lights and hangs the ornaments then closes the cabinet glass door so the cats stay away.
    Our cats don’t pay attention and now with the newest gud dugs they don’t come out of their rooms so much any more.
    parsnip

  7. You and I share a santa ornament – I recognized it at once !
    I hope you put out some porridge for the Nisse on Christmas Eve. Their relations the Tomte go psycho on 12/24 if not feed properly.

      1. It is one of the Santa statues I will have to do better with the details. As for the oatmeal make sure it has butter on it or I won’t vouch for the slaughter.

      2. The photo with the three wooden Santas: The large one on the left, in the foreground that’s the one I have. The fat fellow with the pointy hat like that of a Hersey’s kiss.
        Mother gave it to me as a Christmas prize years ago.

      3. Urspo:
        We bought that one in Irvine. I love the series and am tempted to buy more. A friend stopped by yesterday and that one was his favorite.

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