Getting closer


Wow. Christmas is literally just around the corner. By ten this morning I had cooked chicken for White Chicken Chili and browned ground beef for Spaghetti sauce. Got all my Christmas cards ready. (That’s another story. I bought them weeks ago and can’t find them. As luck would have it I had just enough various left-overs to go around. I’ll find the other ones after Christmas.) My family is coming this Saturday and will be here for five days. The more I have done ahead of time, the better I feel and the more I can just enjoy the season.

Last night I completely organized my pantry because I know my daughter is going to want to decorate Pretzels and this way I’m all set. I know where everything is.

I got a little package of cookies and hot cocoa mix ready for our mail carrier. We are gone a lot and she does a great job of keeping track of all our “hold mails”.

Made a darling paper star wreath last night and wound yarn around a number of the gold Christmas trees from Dollar Tree. They are just adorable and you can vary the height by placing them on different sized candle holders etc. I’ll bet I’ve made at least twenty this year.

Working on my grocery list today. I live in Michigan and this winter, we’re learning to shop between snowstorms. Another one heading our tomorrow and a mega storm this week-end. We live on a hill. Need I say more?

I hope to make my mother-in-law’s nut roll today or tomorrow. I searched the internet and her recipe is truly unique. I want to be able to hand it down to the next generation. Of course, there is no recipe so I’m just going by “a little of this” and “a pinch of that”.  I’ll let you know.

Hubby just back from cross-country skiing. I’ve got to check the freezer to see what I already have on hand. Seriously, I should own stock in our local grocery store, (Meijer’s.)

Anyway, I just thought I’d share with all you women out there the wonderful busyness of this Christmas season. What a contrast to the days Mary experienced leading up to the birth of her Son. And yet I find that being excited about Christmas and being crazy busy just makes me appreciate that gift of peace even more.

Truly Christmas is a time to enjoy the “fullness of life” that Christ promised.

God bless and hang in there everyone!

(ps. I just “pinged” these posts listed below. I hope I have time to read them. They look very interesting.)

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Spring. Yea!


garden 2008 august

Is everyone as excited about spring as I am?  In case you’ve forgotten, I live in Michigan. We have very long winters and this year was no exception. But the snow is melting and yesterday I saw a blue bird stuffing twigs into our faded birdhouse nailed to a tree directly in front of what we call our “sunroom”.

I like watching birds although I’m hardly a seasoned bird watcher. one   I especially like watching them build their nests. We have a number of gourd birdhouses in front of the house. I grew the gourds myself and  I’ve painted them bright colors. They will need painting again. While I love spring in Michigan, I don’t like what else spring means.  The yard work, the deck, the outdoor furniture. Ugh! There is so much to do I’m tired before I begin.

Then there’s the problem of my pulled” whatever” in back of my knee. A Zumba class gone dreadfully wrong. The fears that my gardening days are over. That wouldn’t be the end of the world except I have a huge garden. Actually, I have about three gardens. Maybe I’ll just scoot around among the flowers on my butt. Whatever works, right?

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I think people in cold climates have a fondness for spring that few other states can. We’ve been pretty much holed up in our homes for months now with the occasional venturing out to get groceries, etc.  It’s fun living in Michigan in the spring. You don’t see any of your neighbors for months. It’s almost as if you don’t have neighbors. Then suddenly people seem to burst from their homes in one massive movement.  There’s a barrage of activity as they make use of every hour of daylight. People are friendly and exuberant in their long-overdue freedom.  It’s like we’ve been released from prison.

I can’t imagine this happening in warmer climates. Here, it’s exciting and energizing. Unlike the birds who are stuffing their nests, we’re cleaning out ours. Piles of stuff show up on the curbs and I get so excited I can’t stand it. The anticipation of all the “treasures” I might find. I’ve embarrassed my poor husband more than once by yelling “Stop!”, I have to have that”. My husband will ask, “What is it?”, when I throw “it” into the bed of the truck. I will respond, “I don’t have a clue, but it will be wonderful when I’m done with it.”

Oh, the ideas that are oozing out of every part of my overly energized brain as I plan all my DIY projects. Oh, the possibilities that await me. Sigh…………

Yea, it’s spring!

snowy thoughts


 

my garden in winter. look closely and you'll see some leftover roses that still have color. Neat, huh?

my garden in winter. look closely and you’ll see some leftover roses that still have color. Neat, huh?

 snowy thoughts

We are getting hammered with snow here in Michigan, over a foot within twenty-hours. The snow is so heavy the pine tree’s that border our house on three sides look like they’ve been frosted with the most beautiful white frosting ever. They are almost bent over to the ground. The patio lights that border a path in my garden are completely covered but the light shines up through the snow like through a sheet of gauze.  It’s all so breathtakingly beautiful. 

I like getting snowed in (as long as I have everything I need). I find snowy days like today help me think. Probably because I know I can’t go anywhere. I like sipping my hot tea and sitting in my “prayer” chair and just thinking. I try to avoid introspection however.

Today I thought about some people in my life for whom I’m their major source of comfort, advice and encouragement. They’re needs are unique and so I respond to each of them accordingly. Sometimes though,  their “neediness” overwhelms me, not because I resent it but because I can’t always help. So today I somewhat calculatedly prioritized who needed me the most. I didn’t categorize it by their issues but by their support system. If they have a support system in addition to me, I can back off a little.  (I hope that makes sense to all of you.)  It might seem “cold” but I had to.  Here’s why.

There’s only one of me. My hubby has to remind me of that often. I easily forget that I don’t have as much stamina and emotional energy as I think I do, especially when they all need me at the same time. That ultimately (with the adults anyway) the buck stops with them. Besides, if I’m going to be available for them in the long run, I have to pace myself.

It really helped me analyze their individual circumstances to determine how to divide my time. I know there will be days I will still try to meet everyone’s needs all at the same time. I suffer from “knight on a white horse” syndrome. But that’s o.k.  I believe we’re on this earth to help each other. Besides there might come a time when I’m not needed and I’ll just bet that will be even harder for me.

I’ll end this short post with something I try to always remember. I can’t quote the source because I don’t know who it is, but here goes.

“Do as much as you can,

for as many people as you can,

in as many ways as you can,

for as long as you can.”