Saturday, December 31, 2011

525,600 minutes

Monday, December 26, 2011

36 to 37

lots of snow days
so much snow
crawling under the sink in the Christmas Story house because Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie
attending a private Sting concert for free
onion rings at the drive-in with my goddaughters
nieces who get in the car for a "day of fun" and say "I'm so excited!"
lots of hiking
that month when it was freaking hot
the best U2 show ever
saying "hi Edge" and having Edge wave back
the "impossible" marathon
the Hubby who let life be turned upside down for four months to make the impossible marathon possible
countless iron pills and protein shakes
running start snuggle hugs from my nephew
new glasses
a vehicle that hit 100,000 miles
legs that have roughly the same amount of miles on them
dance recitals
birthday parties
hot cocoa
trips to the orchard
being part of a live link up to the International Space Station
Hubby's poetry reading
sitting with a cup of tea and a book
actually getting flowers to grow
so many green tea lattes I lost count
Thanksgiving dinner
a month of living on fudge and peanut butter balls
watching my grandpa's eyes light up when I presented him with a container of pfeffernuss
goddaughters who made me the coolest owl blanket ever
receiving a recording of my dad reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
hugs and kisses

36, you'll be a tough act to follow.
But I think I'm up for it.
37? Let's start today.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

yesterday and today and tomorrow

Yesterday I was so excited to go over to my Grandma's house to make Christmas cookies. The kind that have frosting and sprinkles, and are shaped like Christmas trees and stars and Santa.

I spent so much time, hours maybe, sitting by the Christmas tree, just looking at it because it was so beautiful.

I could not wait for Christmas Eve. My mom made cocoa, and I curled up next to my dad so that he could read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to me. Then I picked out the absolutely perfect cookies (the ones I made with Grandma) to leave for Santa, and set them out on the coffee table, right next to the cocoa.

On Christmas morning, the first order of business was to check on the cocoa and cookies. And they were gone!

Today I am so excited for my nieces to come over to my house and make Christmas cookies with frosting and sprinkles. And I am so excited that they will take them home to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. (Although I save a few to leave at Grandma's grave. I know she likes them, too.)

And I spend as much time as I can, just sitting by the Christmas tree, looking at it because it is just so beautiful.

And I would love to sit down next to my dad and hear him read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to me. Even though I'm 36, and would probably be sharing the space with his grandkids.

And I'm so tempted to leave some cocoa and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, because I do believe that when I check on Christmas morning, they'll be gone.

And it really seems that the more things change, the more they really just don't. And there's really no reason to wish for what's past, or miss it, or remember when. Because really, it's all here with you, right now, today. Everyone and everything that you've known and done and believed and been has gone into making this moment, right now.

I guess that's a little piece of the magic. And, really, the best present of all.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

it was supposed to be about the lights...

Hubby and I went to see one of those big, drive-through holiday light displays; the kind that have Santa and snowmen and knights fighting a dragon and aliens all made out of lights. You know, in order to better understand the true meaning of the holiday season. With knights fighting a dragon. And aliens.

And most people were perfectly happy to drive through and look at the glowing koala and the red-eyed kangaroo (exchanging gifts, of course). But I felt this compulsion to park the car and get out. I'm not sure why. It was really cold. And it was that one day that we had snow. But still, out I got. And I'm so glad I did, because I found the Christmas trees.

They were small. From the car,they just looked like trees with lights. And probably not many people really saw them. Especially if they just drove on through. But each one was decorated differently, and was just so beautiful. And they made the numb fingers and toes totally worth it.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

snow time

Yesterday the weather cooperated.

I woke up to snow. Covering the ground. And I smiled, non-stop, because of it.

And I put on my hat and scarf. And I pulled up my Christmas playlist. And I went out and played (ran) in the snow. And I smiled non-stop because of it.

Today the snow is gone. Of course. It was sunny and just warm enough to melt it all away.

But I'm choosing to optimistic that it will be back soon.

I smile just thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do you ever get the feeling that you've just walked into a James Taylor song?

Or is it just me?

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Do you ever get the feeling....

that you're being followed by a yellow submarine?

Or is it just me?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

snap, crackle, pop...

Do you ever just want to scream? Long and loud?

Why can't we?


Why can't we?

Why is it that it is okay for other people to treat us with meanness and spite, with rudeness and disrespect, like we are no better than trash under their feet, when they have absolutely no clue?

And are we really supposed to be kind and civil and take it?

And why is the person designated to have our back in these situations completely invisible?

And why are we not allowed to have our own backs, and stand up for ourselves?

And how long am I reasonably expected to keep this up before I fully and completely snap?

I think the answer might be 12 years....

But I'm trying. Really. I'm trying.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I am eternally cold.

Hubby and I went one town over to see how they kick off Christmas.

It was kind of lovely. It was cold; finally feeling like December. Really very Christmas-y.

Until I could no longer feel my fingers. Which took about 2 minutes. Which might be a record for me. Because I am always cold. Always.

So we had to go warm them up. Luckily there was a finger warming up place right nearby.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

I guess "happy holidays" means different things to different people

So, I asked my lovely co-workers to help me out by bringing in their old catalogs and sale advertisements. I'm working on an activity in which we'll compare how much various items cost in 1932 and how much the same type of items cost now.

I received lots of Menards, Kohls, and Target ads from the Sunday paper. But a few catalogs caught my eye.

This one, in particular, looked interesting...

The Vermont Country Store catalog was like a little treasure chest of yester year. So many things that I remember my Grandma owning, or that I played with as a child could be found within it's pages.

Things like this Christmas candle chime thing that used to fascinate me when I was small. I could watch it for hours!

And ohmygosh, it's a Slush Mug! These were so awesome!

And don't think we didn't consider ordering our very own Muumuu!

This brought back memories of making our own radio shows when we were kids.

You can order Necco Wafers, rotary phones, that pot holder loom thing (that I would spend hours weaving but could never figure out how to remove from the loom...)... All kinds of wonderful treasures!

But then, as I continued to skim through the catalog, this picture caught my eye...

It was on a page with things like Smith Brothers Cough Drops and medicine to stop shingles from itching. And I thought "Oh how funny! Didn't they realize what that looks like?"

And then I looked a little closer, and... Wait. What!?!

I guess they did realize what that looks like.

All right then!!

So. If you've not yet finished your holiday shopping, The Vermont Country Store might just be your one stop shopping gold mine.

Take it from this testimonial:

(Thank God I looked through all of the catalogs before I moved forward with the project.....)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

these people are awesome

It must be kind of hard to be these people. They stand outside for hours on end, in all kinds of weather. People who pass their field of vision are often annoyed with them (for what reason, I'm not sure). Many people try very hard to not even look at them, let alone make eye contact. And really, none of that seems like it would make for a very fun day.

But these people? They do it. They stand out for hours on end, in all kinds of weather, as not very nice people pass by. And they smile at those people. And they wish those people well. It seems that they are the ones who get it, what this season is really all about. It's about giving of yourself. It's about helping those less fortunate. It's about smiling at strangers and wishing them well. It's about sending some positive energy out into the universe.

And me? I try to follow their lead. I smile back, thank them for their well wishes, and wish them well in return. If I have some spare change in my pocketbook, I toss it in the pail. And I try to send some love and light out into the world. Just like they do.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

they don't call it magic for nothing

On the weekends, I run around all. day. long.

Everything that there is no time to do during the week must be done on the weekends. And it seems that it takes every second of the weekend to get it done.

Then the week starts and there's all the endless stuff that takes up every second of the week. And then it's the weekend again. And on it goes, moving and turning and swirling until I'm just dizzy and tired and want to crawl into bed and stay there. Maybe forever.

I can't remember the last time I sat down on the couch for more than the amount of time it takes to pull on a pair of socks.


Somehow, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, all of that changes. Somehow, time appears.

I realize this is counter to basic common sense, and maybe even popular opinion. I don't understand what kind of strange quirk in the time/space continuum exists that allows me to find extra time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I quit trying to understand it or figure it out some time ago.


In the next month, I will magically find time to watch approximately 14 movies, even though I haven't found time to watch even one in the past four months.

I will find time to read four novels.

I will find time to sit and sip tea and/or cocoa and listen to music and look at pretty lights (seriously! just sit! without doing anything else!).

I will find time to bake endless amounts of cookies, and then decorate them, frost them, dip them in chocolate and otherwise fancy them up.

I will find time to do and see and go and lots of other things that I don't even know about yet.

And some how....

All of the endless stuff that always needs to be done will still get done.

I guess it's all part of the holiday magic...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

so we went to see the holiday windows....

Off into the Big City we went. Two small town folk. On a big adventure. All to see the grand, glorious storefront holiday window displays. (You know, before all the large, pushy holiday crowds show up.)

And this is what we got.

Okay then!

Anyone care to explain? Guess? Conjecture?

Magicians? Fairies? Alchemists? Snow people? Phyllis Diller impersonators?

And what is with the guy "riding" the rather large telescope/sextant/rocket thingy?

Because I still just don't get it.

I guess nothing says "holidays" like magical fairy Phyllis Diller impersonators astride large quasi-phallic mystery instruments....


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

something fun (in air quotes)

It was recently suggesting that I be part of a large group of people who all get together to do "something fun."

Everyone in the group is someone I love dearly. (Do you feel the "but" coming here?)


When I think of doing "something fun," I think of one of these scenarios:

  • Going running
  • Going hiking
  • Going biking
  • Going somewhere that serves warm beverages and good food, and people talk in quiet voices
  • Sitting on the couch to watch a movie (although I'm super picky about what movies I'll watch)
  • Going to the movies (although I'm super picky about what movies I'll watch. oh, wait....)
  • Sitting in my chair with a book and a cup of tea and no one bothering me
  • Sleeping

The time frame on all of these things is the same:

  • morning
  • afternoon
  • gets me home before 7:30
  • (except sleeping... I'll do that whenever.)

This does not put me in the majority, I know.

And it does not mean that I don't like to see my friends and family and such. I do.

And it does not mean that I'm not open to doing other things. I am.

But sometimes I feel like people think that I'm supposed to just think that their version of fun is fun for me, too. That I'm supposed to just say "yes" because that's what the majority wants to do.

But I've come to a place in life where I'd rather say "no" than do something I don't want to do. So that's what I do. I say no.

I think this annoys/angers/baffles some people.

I'm not opposed to doing things outside of my limited list of preferences. Really. But I'd like a little give and take, you know? I'd like the people who want me to have their fun to meet me in the middle once in awhile, you know? I don't think I should be the only one to step out of my comfort/happy zone. I'm sure we could figure out something.

But it doesn't generally work that way. I mean, my friends (all five of them) understand my quirks and the reasons for them. Plus they're pretty like-minded. And willing to work with me. But I often get the feeling that the general population is not open to suggestions (even on my birthday).


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I take this stuff seriously.

Maybe too seriously. But, you know, Breaking Dawn (part one) comes out Friday. We had to, you know, be reminded of what was happening.

And really, it was for Hubby's benefit. Not mine. He wasn't sure he remembered what had happened last. Because he's gone along with me for each of the first three movies (for my third time seeing them in the theater) and the writer in him is very interested in how the plot is developing. (Or the hot chicks on the screen. Whatever.)

But, I mean, I didn't go so far as to re-read the books. Since I just re-read them (again) over the summer. So it seemed like re-watching the movies would be sufficient. And a good way to avoid any kind of real responsibility for a few nights. And be really tired for work the next day. For a few days.

But sometimes, you've just got to do what you've got to do.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011


Yesterday I made a warm, creamy, casserole for dinner. One with veggies and croutons and tofu. There was a sugared pumpkin candle burning and some Mozart playing in the background. The lights stayed low, because bright lights are dumb.

And Hubby said I am very good at making it feel like a holiday, even though it isn't.


Today I was making chocolate chip cookies and Hubby was making curried carrot soup; both of us in the kitchen that isn't really large enough for one person to be cooking in. But for maybe the first time ever, everything flowed. We weren't bumping into each other. Each was able to move for the other when it was needed without sighing loudly or grumbling quietly. Nothing was spilled or dropped or burned or scalded.

The sugared pumpkin candle was burning again, and (my boyfriend)Josh Groban was singing quietly in the background.

And we had curried carrot soup with pistachio cream on top for dinner. And chocolate chip cookies for dessert. (And as an appetizer. Whatever.)

And Hubby said I am good at making it feel like a holiday, even though it isn't.


It isn't a holiday. Not yet. But I think the magic is settling in anyway.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

so the conversation went like this....

Hubby: Remember when went hiking this past summer?

Me: Yeah.

Hubby: And it was so hot the backpacks slid off our shoulders, and the water bottle slid out of our hands. Because we were so sweaty. And you started to cry one time. Because you were so hot. And the one time I was starting to get dehydrated. Because I was so hot. And sweaty.

Me: Yeah.

Hubby: This is better.


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