Hey, Look! Amy Has Been Decorating Her New Digs

December is a big month for cheese and sentiment and holiday specials, so that’s why you see digital snow drifting across this page. Enjoy until Jan. 4, when we’ll go back to our old boring ways. Besides, this is the best snowfall I’ll probably see before 2009 draws to a close. Here in Alabama, we tend to get the freakish near-spring snowfalls that take us by surprise and make us ask, “Why now?”, and that’s if we get any snow at all.

As for the new banner, it’s only temporary, and it makes me smile. Then it’s back to the old header, or maybe another header. Who knows? I can do whatever I want. Just above the banner you will find “Top-Rated Posts,” which is a new page listing a few blogs from the past two years. The listings on this page were scientifically chosen through a long and involved ranking process that was part matrix, part stat counter, part personal preference. Oh, and a big helping of laziness, as I really don’t know how to transfer more than two years’ worth of blogs over to here and maintain the original publication date, without every last one of them looking as if they were posted today. And while the coffee has been flowing at full throttle today, it hasn’t been flowing that freely.

So we’ll consider the older blog posts to be “unforwardable mail.” Sort of like when we moved into our current house 9 1/2 years ago and the previous owner seemed not to want to forward her mail officially through the U.S. Postal Service and instead thought it might be easier to avoid creditors and who knows who else more fun to drop by my new house every couple of days — or, even better, send one of her friends — to pick up her mail. Eventually I learned to lie to her and her accomplices. “Huh, that’s strange, no mail today.” I assume they came to realize that the jig was up and that I wasn’t about to be their personal assistant … or mail handler. Weeks earlier, on moving day, we had the house professionally cleaned, and the locksmith arrived that afternoon to change every lock in the house, in the event that her six teenage children had distributed keys to their many friends throughout town. But a locksmith can only do so much. An electric fence draped with barbed wire would have been more effective, as two weeks after we moved in, she knocked on our front door and said that as soon as the tomatoes started growing, she would be back to pick them because she had worked hard on the garden and the tomatoes were rightfully hers. As she pulled out of the driveway, I pulled every tomato plant out of the ground and tossed them into the garbage can (along with her stacks of mail). I delivered my fourth baby the very next day.

While all this sounds like I strayed from the subject at hand, I think this shows that I know how to manage my digs — real and virtual. I trash what needs to be trashed and keep unfriendly outsiders at bay.

Oh, and a final note: You will also find a new feature over there on the right. I am assembling a blog roll that truly reflects the blogs I visit regularly. No money has been exchanged between me and any of these parties. I like what I like and encourage you to like what I like. It’s a fairly diverse assortment of sites and blogs, so like a can of mixed nuts, maybe you can filter through them, pick out the ones you like and toss the other ones back in for someone else. I’ll be adding others as I unpack boxes and learn my way around the neighborhood. My word, there she goes again with the house and home metaphors.

Happy Monday . . .