Astoundingly and noisily windy last night; I wondered what blew away while we slept. Fortunately nothing, and we didn't lose power.
The big book about the Middle East has been sent to its intended recipient; the man who runs the mailing store is originally from Iraq, and when I told him what it was, he became very interested. One of his kids is pursuing a PhD in Middle Eastern studies, and he thought the tome would make a good Christmas gift for her. Personally, if I were her, anything that smacked of my studies as a gift would be as bad as getting appliances under the tree, but every family is different. I had a friend and neighbor who had a very strict policy about gifts, particularly from her spouse: NO APPLIANCES, as in vacuum cleaners, carpet shampooers, or other sundry cleaning apparati. I still think that's a solid policy to maintain. A little rocket launcher might come in handy, though.