Clicks signal an incoming message and then —
DARQ: Hello, Catherine! I wish you the Merriest of Christmases.
CATHERINE: Same to you Darq!
DARQ: I hesitate to expound on the weather here, well, it’s heavenly —
CATHERINE: Oh, how I envy you being in the tropics. Hey, what’s with the bear?
DARQ: Actually, it’s bears, plural. You see, the theme of this island getaway holiday is Christmas Bears. I’m holding a stuffed bear in my right hand, a genuine Teddy Bear, and in my other hand is a bear of a gingerbread cookie. The cookie-bear is holding a green striped candy cane.
CATHERINE: How can you be sure that you have a genuine Teddy Bear? Stuffed bears are just stuffed bears.
DARQ: Because the ribbon around its neck says Teddy Bear. Beside, the MIB — my Men In Black — bodyguard detail gave this cute little bear to me as a Christmas gift. Speaking of Christmas gifts, I received your gift, Catherine — the Erte-Inspired Creation is gorgeous! I can hardly wait until New Year’s Eve to wear it.
CATHERINE: I’m glad you liked the gown. So when do you leave for the New Year’s Eve party? And is it in some alpine-ski area?
DARQ: No. I’m celebrating New Years right here in the tropics!
CATHERINE: Lucky, lucky, you. I get snow and single digits. Brrrrr!
CATHERINE: Okay, before you go imbibe more punch or frolic on the beaches, let’s see the shoes.
Darq’s cheeks flush.
DARQ: Ah . . . Well, you see, it’s like this —
Catherine gasps before saying: OHMYGOD — you’re barefoot!
DARQ: Yes, I am. You can blame it on the MIBs.
DARQ: They talked my host into resurfacing this section of beach outside my guest bungalow to resemble the sands of my homeworld. At home, I never wear shoes on the beach. No one does. But I did put on a new coat of nail polish. (Darq wiggles her toes.)
CATHERINE: Blinged out toenails. No two toes the same color.
DARQ: Of course not. Readers of JEWELS OF THE SKY wouldn’t expect the heroine to deviate from that little quirk, now would they?
CATHERINE: No they wouldn’t.
DARQ: Oh, I have to go. It’s time for our Christmas luau. Merry Christmas!
CATHERINE: Merry Christmas!
(The connection ends.)
* * * * * * * *
Darq and I wish you a wonderful Christmas Day!
* * * * * * * *
Stop by New Year’s Day to see Darq’s party gown, another Erte-inspired creation.
NOTE TO CRAFTERS AND SEWERS: Darq’s muumuu is a silk-polyester border print,the design is a composite made after browsing Pinterest for ideas.
As to the palm trees, that’s not paint on them – it’s cake frosting. My sister, who loves to decorate cakes came for lunch and a visit. She also brought her cache of frosting tips and jars of food colorings. I whipped up a batch of simple frosting (powdered sugar, shortening, and milk) and divided up the mix into four bowls. My sister then piped the bark and leaves using leaf tips. She had the easy part, the frosting of the palms.
The hard part was mine — scaling and cutting-carving the palm forms out of corrugated cardboard, then reinforcing the trunk sections and fronds with Popsicle sticks to keep the thin areas rigid.
Once dry, I slid the palms onto the cloud board, used brads (through the coconut area) to secure the trees to the cloud board.
By the way, those are real rocks, sand, gravel, and pebbles used for the “beach.”
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