Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas doin's (and a slight head cold)

1.  Got our Christmas decorations done yesterday.
2.  Worth all of the hard work to awaken this morning to Christmas trees and holly!
3.  Think I'm coming down with a slight case of creeping crud, blah.
4.  Flannel reindeer sheets on our bed, snuggly and  sweet sleeping for us!
5.  I love the fact that when I dramatically informed the Mr., "I can't bear white lights on the tree, I need big old fashioned color lights!!"  (literally, this what I said,)  he calmly took off the white lights and changed them to big old fashioned color lights.
6.  I'm hoping he has the same attitude when I send him back up to the attic to fetch the nativity.
7.  Tomorrow we're gathering again at my mom and dad's to deck their halls.  Love family time, love the holidays.  
8.  Next Saturday Mac, Susan, the Mr. and I are attending the work Christmas party; mainly as an excuse for the very girly Susan to dress up. I see Spanx in my future. 
9.  Did anybody else catch the Lady Gaga with the Muppets on Thursday?  Makes me sad that we're blurring the lines between wholesome and, well, Lady Gaga.
10.  We put our Christmas tree in a new spot this year.  Usually it's back in a the corner where you really can't see the bottom very well.  I love pictures of big old farm houses with Christmas trees in the kitchen so this is my attempt at the enjoying the tree top to bottom and sort of having a tree in the kitchen. 
Poor quality camera phone pic, but you get the idea.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

It's the most wonderful time~

Finally!  The Christmas Season is officially here!  The Mr. and I are sitting in front of the fire feeling entirely over-fed and abundantly blessed.  Mac is still asleep, he works afternoons today.  Jay, our banker (LOL) is working today.  So that leaves Dean and I to begin decking our halls!  This is always done the Friday after Thanksgiving but this is the first year that I can remember that I'm home to participate.  I even got flannel reindeer sheets for the beds!  Yesterday, the first holiday since 2007 that I wasn't on-call for work (or at work,)  was just too lovely to adequately describe.  Peaceful would be the best word, I believe.
Another cup of coffee and maybe an English muffin and it'll be time to remove the Thanksgiving decorations from the front tree and take down the Autumn leaves and put away the pumpkins and pilgrims.
No Black Friday shopping.  I can't even imagine it, I don't like shopping on any color other day!  Most of my shopping is done online and is one of the few technological advancements in life that I don't regret.
So there's a fine chance that, should you drop by our house today, you'll find me still in pajamas and pony tail drinking endless cups of Starbuck's Holiday Blend from my new cardinals-in-a-Christmas tree cup.  If we're extra efficient, I might even get a few gifts wrapped!
Where ever you are today, stay safe and remember to enjoy the celebration of God with us.  If it starts to feel like work, take a break and let the truth of the Christ Child restore your joy.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hello honey!

Happy Thanksgiving!
What a beautiful (snowy) day already in The Mitten.  Donny the Dog is in and out; running around in the snow and then in for a warm up and then back out again.  I'm enjoying my first cup of Starbuck's Holiday Blend of the season; soooooo good.  And twice as good in my new Christmas cup.  Our new flannel reindeer sheets arrived yesterday and I've tossed them into the washing machine so they will be fresh and soft tomorrow when we deck the halls right down to the beds.
The cranberry and coconut cream pies are ready to pack up and take to my parents' home later today.  Mac's girl Susan is coming over at 11:00 to help with the sausage and dressing and roasted root vegetables that will round out our contribution.  She and Mac made spinach pie last night for an appetizer; yum!
Yesterday marked six years since my Gramma passed from here to heaven, in this very house, in fact.  Seems so long ago since that time when we spent her last days right here in her home with her.  A true spiritual matriarch, she didn't leave us with wringing hands and stunning grief.  No, there was a deep and sweet peacefulness in this little bungalow as she laid in bed, never really waking up during those final days.  We took turns visiting with her; talking to her, singing softly, reading the Word of God she loved so much or just being quiet.  I still see my sister and I, always in scrubs, as we came and went from work.  My mom's brother came from out of state and her cousin from out of town to take turns around the clock; caring for my grandmother and one another.
On Thanksgiving Eve that year, it was just my mom and I here in the house with my gramma as we awaited her homegoing.  My mom was, for reasons I do not fully understand, determined to make multiple mini fruitcake type bread things and had bought heaven knows how many mini loaf pans for the project.  We sat at my gramma's kitchen table exhausted and downright punchy, giggling and mixing a giant bowl of this bread stuff and making tiny loaf after tiny loaf.  Finally, exhausted with rows of mini loaves of bread cooling, it was time for bed.  My mom was sleeping in my gramma's bed and my grandmother was in her hospital bed in the second room leaving me to choose the sofa bed or an extra bed in the basement.  Knowing what that sofa bed was like from years of childhood sleep-overs, I chose the basement bed.  As I said, we were exhausted and punchy and sort of hoping that Gramma would hold on until the day after Thanksgiving (well, it's true!)  I stumbled down the basement stairs and had this thought, this idea, this grampa.
My grampa passed away years before my gramma.  But in my mind, I could clearly imagine him there in the basement wearing a red sweater vest and saying, "Hello honey."
And I freaked out and ran back up the stairs and slept on the horrible sofa bed.
And this, friends, has become the lore and legend of the final days of my gramma's life.  It really is a matter of her legacy, as ridiculous and undignified as it all was!  Because we were already mourning her but, not like those without hope.  We felt utterly complete in our relationship with her and in our knowledge of her eternity and in her warm and snug little house.  There was room to be too tired, too silly and to laugh at the foolishness of my refusal to spend the night in the basement with my red sweater vested grampa (hello honey!)  There were tender moments of hand-holding.  There was the beginning of the good-byes a few weeks earlier when we realized she was in her final days and Mac carried her from her home to the hospital (I'll leave that story to my mom, it feels like it really belongs to her.)
Happy Thanksgiving, may your comings and goings be filled with sweet peace, joy and maybe even just a few utterly ridiculous and undignified snorting belly laughs.  (Pic:  Gramma and I in the infamous basement)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pie Day!

So tomorrow is Pie Day!  Do you have any Thanksgiving preparations on your agenda?  Mac's girl Susan is coming over to make a coconut cream and a Nantucket cranberry pie.  If you're looking for an easy and crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving dessert, I highly recommend this recipe, from The Pioneer Woman.  And that, my friends, is all I have to offer you this evening!  I worked today, I'm a little bit tired and getting ready to take a long shower because tomorrow is...


Monday, November 25, 2013

Be the Samaritan~

Luke 10: 30-35
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

It's no secret that much of the heartache and stress in life is self-induced.  We've all done utterly foolish things that came back and bit us in the backside.  We've all dug our heals in and paid a dear price for stubbornness.  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus doesn't really explain what the man was doing when he was attacked, just that he was going down the road. Yet, when we run across someone who has been beaten down, how often do we scrutinize how they got there before we decide to help?  The phrase, "kick 'em when they're down,"  came from some universal truth.  It seems to make sense to let someone pay for their mistakes so they learn a lesson.  Consequences.  
I'm not opposed to consequences.  What I've learned is to be cautious about letting natural consequences occur as an excuse to do nothing.  
What if the Samaritan had said, "What were you doing traveling alone?"  "Why weren't you more careful?"  "What were you thinking?"  A half dead man probably isn't in any condition to learn a lesson.  Instead, the Lord tells us that the Samaritan tended to the man, provided him comfort and an opportunity to heal.  No, he didn't move the guy into his basement and protect him from ever having to travel again.  He just gave the measure of help that would enable the injured man to get on his feet.  Kindness, that's what I'm thinking of.  There is no value to withholding kindness.  Even while hell is the ultimate consequence for our sin, God never withholds gentle mercy.  He gives to us as much as we will receive.  He rescues moments.  
We can rescue moments without erasing the lessons learned of natural consequence. 
We can provide a meal without paying the rent of a person who is habitually irresponsible with their finances.  We can be the person who doesn't insist on talking about the problem and give the relief of a few hours of escape.  We can babysit for those overwhelmed parents who "shouldn't" have had a baby so young so they have an opportunity to nurture their own relationship.  On and on, the rescue of moments that minister to someone who has made their own lives painful might give them just enough strength to pick themselves up and do better. 
Be the Samaritan.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Let the festivities begin!

I'm so happy this week is here!  The holidays will officially start on Thursday.  Actually, for me they will start on Wednesday because I'm working Monday and Tuesday only.  On Wednesday I'm staying home to chip chip chop (as my Grandma Trent used to say.)  Translated, that means chop and prep and cook and bake.  My mom is hosting Thanksgiving at the Trent House.  We were assigned pies for dessert so I'll be making coconut cream with meringue and Nantucket cranberry pie (a Pioneer Woman recipe.)  I'm also making a pan of sausage dressing and roasted root vegetables to add to the feast.  That takes us to Friday when...
Christmas decorations time arrives!  We'll take the harvest decorations off of the Thanksgiving tree and deck the halls.  I have about half of my gifts purchased so the trees will be just in time for the wrapped packages.
On Sunday, we're gathering again to decorate my parent's house for the holidays.  I have a feeling the next seven days will be flying by.
Now it's your turn, what's happening in your home this Thanksgiving week?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hair apparent~

1.  This is my senior picture; 1985.
2.  On my way home from work yesterday, I stopped at the drug store and spotted sponge rollers.
3.  Sleeping on sponge rollers every night was how I achieved the look on the left.
4.  Yup, I bought me some sponge rollers.
5.  Apparently, one loses one's ability to sleep on sponge rollers with age.
6.  My hair is frighteningly large.
7.  I love it.
8.  I can't go out in public looking like this.
9.  I do not look like I have fabulously spiral curled hair.
10.  I look like an old fat chick who hasn't updated her hair.
11.  I love big hair and I cannot lie.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A patchwork home~

I have a thought, a theory, a concern.
My worry is for young people starting out life on their own but not knowing that they need a home.  I don't mean that they are wandering the streets and sleeping in dumpsters.  I mean that home has become this largely unattainable idea of grand McMansions with granite counter tops and expensive furniture.  Or else, home has become just a place to shower in the morning and sleep at night; an unadorned and uninspiring storage unit for one's life.  But that's not home, not really.
Our homes reflect an unfolding understanding of who we are over a lifetime.  It's the place that provides a cradle to rest, a springboard to launch from and the stage for the tiniest moments that become Life.  Home should be treasured and nurtured.  We are busy, too busy.  We fall through the doorway exhausted and in need of refueling and we need a place that will provide that.  A place to be anchored.  A place we'd rather be than anywhere else in the world.
Do you remember the scene from It's A Wonderful Life, when George and Mary lead the parade as a family moves into their first home?  They cram children and boxes and even a goat into their car to lead the processional.  Arriving,  the Martini home is christened...Bread... that this house may never know hunger. [Mary hands a loaf of bread to Mrs. Martini] Mary: Salt... that life may always have flavor. [Mary hands a box of salt to Mrs. Martini] George Bailey: And wine... that joy and prosperity may reign forever.  [George hands Mr. Martini a bottle of wine] 
I can't remember the last time I knew of a housewarming.  I mean a good old fashioned housewarming to celebrate and thank God for the provision of a home.  People seem only to have such gatherings when they've moved into something grand and huge.  In my mind, a housewarming should be a moment to pause and worship and soak in the miracle of home.  It doesn't need to be a party to cut the ribbon on a perfectly appointed house (not that I'd mind having one of those!)  I love the idea of a housewarming held to bring the basics that turn a place into a home.  Groceries to stock the pantry, a coffee pot to greet the mornings, kitchen towels or paper towels.  Friends and loved ones bit by bit bringing small and large items to fill the walls and in the process, to leave their fingerprints. How about a casserole dish filled with a warm dinner to enjoy and the new homeowners get to keep the dish itself?  My first home(s) were largely furnished with hand-me-downs, and that made it even better.  My grandma's old bed linens were soft and smelled like home, hers!  And here was an extra soup pot from my mom and there was a set of wooden spoons from someone else and then cake platter found in a basement and none of it new.  Items from home to home, those are the best.  They seem to know how to settle right in and glow with a certain warmth that Ikea hasn't captured.
Home home home!  I think that if we descended on the new homes of the people in our lives and stocked the pantries and spread old worn out quilts over beds; if we hung paintings snatched from our own living room walls to add a dash of color to a new living room; if we made sure there was a coffee pot (I think I have 3 old ones in my basement right now!) and a can of coffee to brew and one or two coffee cups from our own cabinets...I think the world could turn around.  People would have an anchor, a haven, a place they long for during long work days.  Husbands and wives would daydream about dinner together (and let's not forget to teach people how to cook a simple meal.)  In moments of feeling alone in the world, they could look around and see the items that knit them to people who love them.  A cup of tea from an mismatched set because each one came from a friend,  couldn't that mean something on difficult days?
And forever, the memory of the day that people came in a parade through the door with dish soap or a dozen eggs or a toilet brush!  A home, anointed with laughter and love and a little less anxiety when you realize you didn't even have toilet paper...thank goodness someone brought some!
Then we, who know the secret of home and the goodness of God might even stand on tiptoe and ask for every one's attention so that this place can be dedicated to the Lord in prayer.
Like a patchwork quilt, the hand-me-downs and old butter dishes and chipped dinner plates become sewn together by the Holy Spirit and before you know it...
You're home.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A hand full of blessings~

The meatloaf is in the oven and the green beans are simmering on the stove.  Scalloped potatoes will round out our comfort food dinner.  I have one more load of laundry, towels.  Mac's girl Susan is doing her homework on the couch next to her guy who is watching football.  I'm on the other couch next to my guy who is also watching football.
Just another plain old Sunday afternoon, and I love it.
Actually, we just got home around 12:30 after a long weekend in Traverse City celebrating (belatedly) our 27th wedding anniversary.  Or, as the Mr. says, our 31st anniversary of going steady, which is November 19, 1982.  We stayed in a beautiful suite overlooking the bay on Lake Michigan, we had a fireplace and Jacuzzi...the works!  It was wonderful and yet, this is wonderful too.  Would you think I'm strange if I said it is even more wonderful?  Last night, Dean said, "Wouldn't it be perfect if we could just live here forever?" And my answer was, that I love my life in my little house.  I didn't always, mind you.  But now, I am beyond content.  So when it's time to load up the suitcase and head home, I'm just as excited as I was to pack up and head out.  On the four hour drive back to Dearborn, we listened to Christmas music (my idea,) and pretended the rainy sky was snowing (at least I did.)  We talked about the shopping we need to do for the holidays.  And I decided upon meatloaf for dinner.   It just sounded homey.
Tomorrow morning, I shall enjoy a cup of coffee in my new coffee cup with a cardinal on it.  This, I look forward to much more than you'd think.
It's time to check on that meatloaf and relax over dinner.
My blessings overflow, like raindrops in my hand.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

There's something to Christmas after all~

Years ago, I worked with a Jewish gentleman.  He was a few years older than me, a social worker, and always volunteered to work the Christmas holidays because, well, because he was Jewish!  One year, we were chatting about Christmas decorations and the onslaught of earlier and earlier holiday items in stores.  I asked him, "Does it drive you nuts or is it all just off of your radar?"
His answer confirmed why it's important to celebrate big at Christmas if you're a Christian.
He said there was no music, in the entire world, as beautiful and moving to him as Christmas carols.  Old hymns or Jingle Bells...all gave him the chills.  He talked about hearing Christmas music in the mall and just standing there and feeling it physically, the joy.
He said he always accepted invitations to people's home during this holiday season just for the pleasure of sitting near a sparkling tree and looking at each ornament.  He was sorry that some people felt, for the sake of sensitivity, that they shouldn't include him in Secret Santas or give him Christmas cookies or other gifts.  In fact, he announced to his co-workers that he wanted to be a part of everything!
For most of his life growing up, Christmas was a distant cultural celebration not acknowledged in his home.  Of course, there was Hanukkah, and it was cherished and wonderful.  As a boy, he admired the Christmas lights but never particularly felt he was missing out.  Then, one day, a friend in college invited him to midnight mass.  A social work major, he thought this would be a good exercise in cultural awareness.  And so he went.
"I was like a little kid.  I stood there with the voices all around me singing these slightly familiar songs that I didn't know the words to and I almost cried.  I still don't know why, but when I hear those old songs, like Silent Night, I want to sit down on the floor and cry.  And there were these trees at the front of the church all lit up and holly garlands on the altars and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced.  I fell in love with Christmas.  I'm a Jew who loves Christmas although  I have no idea why.  Crazy, huh?"
He went on to say that when "you gentiles" (LOL) talk about dreading Christmas and don't want to mess with the decorations or complain about Christmas music, he's baffled.  I asked him if it doesn't all make him want to get to know Jesus just a little bit.  He grinned and said, at Christmas time, it's really tempting.
And this, friends, is why Christians should guard their hearts so that we don't become desensitized to the miracle. I'm not talking about the ever-mourned commercialization of Christmas.  I am suggesting, that the miracle of Christ's birth is so much larger and more amazing than the human mind can comprehend.  The redemption of the world is larger than what can be contained in our hearts; it bursts forth and finds expression in every small and large detail of Christmas.  Celebration, excitement, joy, laughter, even the ugliest of ugly sweaters!  All of it is the world forever stretching to fully express the relief of Jesus.  We groaned and died under such a burden of sin, and now it's gone.  We should light up the world, and the gaudier the better!  Turn up the music a little louder, make another batch of cookies, wear a Santa hat to work, eat a candy cane for goodness sake!
There is a world of unbelievers who pause in the mall to catch the strains of Oh Holy Night and think, "there's something to this."
Celebrate with your heart, be the light that leads someone to the manger

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


In one of my favorite series of books (The Mitford books by Jan Karon,)  the characters often describe simple blessings as "a consolation."  As in, a roaring fire on a chilly evening...a consolation.  The recitation of a Psalm, the beauty of  a garden, the company of a loyal dog...consolation.   Consolation simply means comfort, a kindness, something that eases a person's heart after a disappointment or even simply a difficult day.  I've been thinking about the love of God and the role we play in one another's lives, that of consolation.

In marriage, for instance, the love of our spouse is a consolation.  The same of friendship and of simple acts of kindness.  God's love is ever-present and his grace is all sufficient and yet; sometimes the touch of another person is such consolation.  The other side of the coin is that when we fail one another, God's love and grace is the sweet consolation that enables us to forgive and give our hearts to a new day.  We are meant to be the representatives of God in the earth.  Most of the time, we know this and we do our best to fulfill that calling.  In different ways, we console and comfort.  Some of us are outgoing and energetic; always ready to give of our time and our company to others.  Some are quieter, praying quietly and sending cards that are like the very voice of God spoken just in time.  Maybe we make cookies, maybe we help with physical chores...there are endless ways we embody the Lord to those who need the touch of flesh.

And then; there are times when only the consoling presence of the Holy Spirit can carry us through.  It's when I fail to reach out beyond the limited abilities of man to seek his perfect comfort that I lose heart.  In my deepest hurt, I need to close myself in with Jesus and let him fill my spirit with grace and peace.  If not, those wounds would quickly become filled with scars of bitterness and hopelessness.  How often do we fail to recognize the very basic need of our mortal hearts?  Lord, let me love them in spite of the pain.  Jesus, wash away this agony and give me your heart of forgiveness.  Save me, rescue me from this solitary place of pain.

God will never spare us entirely those days of darkness and desperation, it is in those moments that the wise become fully aware that he is all there is and he is fully sufficient.  For myself, I want to be so dependent on him that I instinctively rush to his side for the consolation that only he can give.  But I also want to always remember what it feels like to be hurt to my core so that, I will be a willing vessel to bring consolation to those who haven't yet learned the fullness of the Lord's love.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Four gifts

While I am a firm believer in maintaining the holidays within a reasonable time period; I admit that it's taking all of the self-discipline in my little heart to delay Operation Christmas Decorations.  That's part of the fun of it, waiting waiting waiting.
On the other hand, there are those who dread the holidays.  On FB, someone posted something along the lines of "Give me a break from the Christmas decorations and music, let's make it through Thanksgiving first." There were lots of amens in the comments of that particular post.  I don't really disagree but it got me thinking about people who feel overwhelmed and uninspired where the holiday season is concerned.  I've been that person.  Sure, I've always enjoyed the beauty of decorations and lights.  But stresses come along with the season as well.  Money, expectations, time and maybe just not being that person who seems to do it all beautifully.  Another dear friend posts pictures of these cookies she makes that make me ashamed to serve the lumpy bumpy oatmeal raisins that come out of my oven!  So I thought, maybe we could put our heads together and share our amazing decorations and recipes but also; ways to make the season wonderful and perhaps, a little easier if you aren't Martha Stewart with a money tree growing in your own personal Christmas garden.
I'll start with an idea I mentioned in yesterday's  The Mr. is from the school of buy all you can with every penny you have until the stores close.  Bless his heart, this comes from wanting to recreate his own happy childhood Christmases for our kids.  But seriously, the result is year after year of items that are never looked at again once they are opened on Christmas morning.  Last year I cleaned under Mac's bed and found Christmas gifts of Jay's that he simply never took home and never missed. This year, we're following an idea I saw on the internet (where, I don't recall.)  Four gifts, four categories...
Something I want; something I need; something to wear; something to read.
Mac asked that his something to read be replaced with something to eat, dork!
I thought this was brilliant!  Believe me, if one of us needed a pile of 20 gifts, we'd make it happen.  But we're blessed, we don't need, well, anything!  Isn't that wonderful?  Four gifts.
What I really love are the conversations that are happening around this idea.  For instance, Mac's something I need?  Pens and pencils for school.  I don't know why but that blessed my heart, so simple and sweet.  Everyone is making a list with the four categories and mind and we've identified a total budget.  That's another great thing about the idea, you can do it for $20 or $2,000.  You can shop in a dollar store or a department store.
Ideas for something to read if you have nonreaders in your life?  Recipes or cookbooks; inspirational quotes or Wallwords; a coffee cup with something fun on it or even a letter telling them what they mean to you.  Of course, a Bible is always a great gift-even for those who don't read as a hobby.  A fridge magnet!  Text books for college students.  A Bronner's name ornament.  Then again, for those Readers amongst us; the possibilities are endless. Especially for children, what a great way to start a library!
Something to wear could be a mink coat or a pair of mittens.
Although I doubt the Mr. would've cooperated, I kind of wish we'd done this since the kids were small.
And if you aren't quite ready to let go of the mountain of gifts, this is also a cool idea for stocking stuffers.
Four gifts-no more, no less.
Love it.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Thanksgiving is almost here!

The much anticipated Thanksgiving tree is sparkling away in my living room!  I won't say it's complete as I have a few more ideas to add.  I would love to reprint some old family photographs in sepia tones and nestle them into the branches.  Maybe some raffia?  Either way, I am absolutely enjoying my Thanksgiving tree!  The quilt you see underneath it was made by my great grandmother and the writing in the white border is her "signature."
The holidays will have a different budget this year so we're trying something I saw on the Internet.  Everyone will receive four gifts, no more and no less.  One each of the following:  something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read.  We have established a total budget for all four items and everyone will make a list of ideas.  Santa will, naturally, still fill our stockings with fun odds and ends.
Our holiday finances are a result of a great blessing; the change in my job.  I rarely work five days a week any longer and consider this such an amazing fact that I still can't believe it's true.  The ladies of the family have scheduled a Monday cookie baking day during which we shall bake our brains out and watch Christmas movies like White Christmas and Holiday in and The Bishop's Wife.  We'll have brunch together and all plan on wearing yoga pants so that we can test our products.
I'm scheduling myself off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, have Thanksgiving off and I'm not working the Friday after either!  This is the first time in ten years I'll have those days off.  And don't even get me started on the week between Christmas and New Years!  Okay, get me started, I'm taking that off too!  So you understand why there's not quite so many dollars at our fingertips.  And why I don't mind one bit.
We'll have Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house.  A few days later, we're all gathering there again to deck their halls and trim their tree.  Oh, and there's a Motown Review Christmas show at my sister's church on the calendar.  Christmas Eve with Mexican food here for daboyz and us and Christmas dinner with everyone at our house.
Yup!  I'm definitely excited about the celebrations that are about to begin.  All of them, honoring the Christ Child who came to die on my behalf and rose to breathe eternal life into my soul.  What better way to express the joy of Jesus than to embrace every moment that we can!

Monday, November 04, 2013

A wish for myself; more energy

Before I bare my soul; I'm going to ask you to withhold any comments you may be tempted to provide with advice about exercise, diet, vitamin regimes, etc.  I know the benefits, I also know myself and what is true for me.  Deal? 
So in the spirit of self-indulgence, I have a wish for me.  I wish I was a more energetic person.  I have never been a person with physical stamina, not even as a child.  I have forever awakened in the morning with stiff and sore muscles.  I've always become achy after yard work or a day at the beach or any other exertion.  Even in high school, I'd be worn out after work.  To this day, I'm all in, as my grampa used to say, after eight hours. 
I'm an early to bed, early to rise kind of girl.
When I'm out late, I start to feel actually ill.  I get headachy, sore throaty and sore.  My feet hurt most days.  In case you are doing an inventory of possible medical issues; I do have chronic Epstein Barre but my body has always been this way.  And I'm not really complaining.  I'm not a southern belle fainting upon my chaise and in need of smelling salts and some standing over me to fan me with a giant palm leaf. 
I'm just not physically strong. The real problem is, other people are more bothered by this than I am.  Had I been born in a different generation, I don't think there would be a problem at all.  I, however, was born in a time when women work full time and then are expected to participate in small groups (if you are involved in many churches,) work out, go out for coffee, on and on and on.  Back in the olden days of the 1990s, I was a homemaker.  In those days, I did meet up with girlfriends for a cup of coffee mid morning or window shopping with my mom.  We even, occasionally, went out for dinner with other couples!  But now?  I work and I keep my house and then, I'm all in.  I'm really ok with being all in, but it makes me all out; socially at least.  Again, I'm fine with that too!  Being an introvert works well in these cases.
Still, I wish, for myself, that I was a high energy person.  I wish I could do all of my housework and laundry on Saturday and still feel like going to dinner and a movie in the evening.  I wish I could come home from work at 6:00 and have the strength to do laundry so everything wasn't waiting for my attention on the weekend.  I wish my muscles weren't achy and my joints weren't stiff.  I wish I wish I wish...
I wish that more people would say it's okay, to be what I am.  On cranky days, I'd like to point out that while I am not a fireball of energy my house is neat and my laundry done and I work hard for my employer.  And that should be good enough. 
And on non cranky days, like today, I have learned to be okay with what I am and that's good enough.  I'm thankful for the friends in my life who may not understand but still accept a largely online/texting relationship because I'm too pooped and introverted for much else. 
Since I've requested the advice commenters to hold off for today, I'm going to make another request.  Only if you're comfortable.  Is there anything about yourself that isn't quite up to the standard of others that you wish were different or, that you've learned to accept? 
Now, I'm going to relax with a book and refuel.  'Cause that's just how I am.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Rambling thoughts on a Saturday morning~

(Not, not mine.  But how cute is this?)
1.  Trying to talk the Mr. in to putting up our smaller tree and decorating it for Thanksgiving.
2.  Remembering a kid in a special ed class that I used to work with who said, "Thanksforgiving."  Ha!
3.  Got my housework done yesterday, just need to sweep the floor this morning.
4.  Making a pot of the Olive Garden soup that's showing up on everyone's FB.  The Mr. made it while I was recovering from surgery last year, it's soooo good.
5.  I'm planning on starting my Christmas shopping next week, things are going to be seriously scaled down this year with my new income and that's ok.
6.  Last week we had to postpone going out to dinner for our anniversary because the Mr. wasn't feeling well, might try again this evening.
7.  I ordered red and green plaid curtains for my bathroom for Christmas and they arrived yesterday; so cute!
8.  Also on the weekend's menu, a batch of Snicker Doodles.
9.  I love my little house, but I'd love it more with a bigger bathroom and larger closets.
10.  I also love early mornings when I'm the only one awake.


Friday, November 01, 2013

I need a little Christmas...right this very minute!

I always adhere to the no decorations until after Thanksgiving rule, but this year, my resolve is being tried!  I'm so anxious for the holiday season!  It doesn't help that I found some adorable little curtains on clearance in red and green plaid for my bathroom.  AND a deep red comforter (also on clearance) for my pistachio green bedroom.  I even put Christmas music on while I was in the yard last weekend!  I absolutely believe that keeping the season limited is what makes it special, the waiting and sweet anticipation is part of the fun.  It's taking all of the self discipline I have not to just put up my smaller tree in the living room this weekend.  I keep telling myself, I could put it up with the lights and a few little autumn leaves in the branches and it's a Thanksgiving tree!  Right?  I can't promise that won't happen.
When do you start your Christmas decorating?