Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And Tomorrow Is . . .

Bopping around the Internet, I've read a lot of Thanksgiving posts from friends and virtual friends.  Like them, I'm grateful for a lot of things:  my husband and best friend, my mother, my brother, my cats, my friends....

Ncookedturkey I'm grateful for turkey.  (I LOVE turkey--especially the dark meat.)  I love stuffing.  I love Indian food.  I love Mexican food.  Green beans.  Potatoes.  (Gee, I'd better stop talking about food, or next thing you know my head will be in the fridge and I'll be scarfing leftovers.)

I'm grateful for MUSIC!  I'm grateful for a non-leaky roof over my head.  (And it's rained so hard for the past couple of days I was thinking about building an ark!)  I could just go on and on and bore why don't I just say


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Gotta Be Perfect

Clean_house Thanksgiving:  Two days and counting.  Once again, I've started my holiday housecleaning late.

But that was Monday of a holiday week.  Added to that, I've caught a cold.  The last thing I want to do is tackle the months of cleaning I didn't take  seriously while working on some project or other.  Oh, my house isn't a the kind of hovel you see on "Hoarders."  There might be clutter in the way of books and magazines (I like to read), but underneath it's fairly clean and usually not too untidy.

I have never been a Martha Stewart wannabe.  Okay, maybe 10% of me might aspire to that level of domestic divadom, but the rest of the time I handle household tasks when they need to get handled and not before.  (Like, why do laundry until you run out of underwear and socks?)

And then the holidays arrive.  Madison Avenue not only wants us to buy beyond our means, but ancillary industries (women's magazines and TV shows--in fact, entire TV networks (Food Network, HGTV, etc.)) want us to have perfect homes.  Perfect, antiseptically clean homes, with the perfect decor, perfectly laid tables with a feast worthy of a millionaire.

Freedom-from-want What makes us buy into this stuff?  I think it's guilt.  These days, everyone is pulled in so many directions, and we're bombarded with images that have little to do with our real lives.  And then the nostalgia factor kicks in.  We MUST do it as we've done it before.  We MUST have a perfect family, that looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

The reality is that our lives aren't perfect.  Our families often disappoint us (and you know who you are).  The house isn't perfect.  The one place you didn't dust is the place where your brother writes the date.  The cat barfs on the rug five minutes before the company arrives--and sometimes waits until they sit down to dinner.

Can't we just have a nice, peaceful holiday?  Enjoy each other's company and not worry about the dust or the cat hair on the couch?

Nope.  I'll be cleaning like a fiend for the next two days.  Gotta bake those pies--and roast that turkey.  After all, it's gotta be perfect.

How about you?

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's all about bustling!

My poor husband.  His sanity is at risk.  And there's not much he can do about it.  It's all in my hands.

Christmas bustle You see, despite my rant of a few weeks ago . . . I like the holidays.  In fact, I love the holidays.  A LOT.  I love the lights, the decorations, the food, buying presents, wrapping them.  Mostly, I like holiday music.  And movies, too.  And since November 1st, I've been playing my CDs and watching the movies, all of which drives Mr. Ivy NUTS!

PopXmasnewagecover I've been playing the holiday music a lot, too.  The CDs are put away for ten months of the year, so it's like renewing an old friendship when I haul them all out.  My favorite is actually a cheapie I got at the grocery store.  It's called Popular Christmas for a New Age.  I think it cost me five bucks.  And since then, I've found copies at garage sales.  (Apparently not everyone loves it as much as me.)  I've now got four--YES FOUR--copies of it.  That means I can play it in my car, and have a copy of it in three different rooms of the house.  (Okay, I also buy a lot of boom boxes at garage sales.)

Hubby and I have side-by-side offices (I have to go through his to get to mine).  Naturally, as soon as the first strains of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" start up, he wails, "Oh, jeeze, the noise has started--again!"  (That's where the sanity comes in.)  We do have an agreement that I will NOT play the vocals until Thanksgiving . . . but I've already kind of cheated on that one.  (Just a little.)

Egg nog The one part of the holidays that I absolutely love but try to avoid is the cookies.  The cakes.  The candy.  The hot hors d'oeuvres.  The cold hors d'oeuvres.  The eggnog.  The chips and dips.  Oh, I could go on, and on (and on).  But man--over the lips and forever on the hips.

I've got six more weeks of music, decorations, and lights.  And I'm going to revel in it.  How about you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Last Rose of Summer

Friday, during the early hours of the morning, we had our first killing frost.  We live by a farm and we went to see how the unpicked crops had faired.

Not well.

It's so sad to see so much unpicked produce -- that maybe a food pantry could have used -- ruined.  From past experience, we know that the all those peppers will rot.  (Millions of them.)  The farmer told us that their kids work full-time jobs and they only have the two of them to pick acres and acres of produce.  We'd seen them out there for hours on end, but they couldn't make a dent in picking all that they planted.

As we were coming back into our yard, we noticed one last bloom on our climbing rose.  Sadly, the stem shattered.  But, we'd seen a rose tip in water at a lovely tearoom once, and so that's how we enjoyed it.

Just beautiful, isn't it?