Archives

/Archives

you’re grounded

Finding time to be by myself and work on some of my personal to-do list is tricky. I know you know what I’m talking about. I used to be a night owl but am now an early bird who rises before my family for some “commute” time before I start my care taking and family duties for the day, as well as the other necessities of being the Head of Domestics.

Oh, there are so many directions I could go in all by myself in those few quiet minutes of the wee hours. But being a gal with a busy mind most minutes of the day, I have learned that it’s my best time to do nothing.

I select a coffee cup for the day, add in my creamer of preference and pour myself a nice hot cup. Then off I go to chill out and do nothing.

That is not an easy task for me, especially when there are a lot of things I want to get to. But it’s the best way for me to feel grounded as I start my day. It centers me and I handle my day so much better when I take quiet time to listen to the noises of my home and around our outside. I sit in the dark with my little lights on, or none at all, and am a part of the morning as it comes alive during the cold months. In the warmer months, I prefer to sit outside.

My desire to make moments and be present for them is a continuous struggle, so being there as I start my day helps me to connect to MY world, the one I am living right at that moment. It helps to slow down the passing of the day.

It gets trickier as the day goes on, because now I’m caught up in the whirlwind of doing, but I still try to find moments that encourage me to pause and be a part of that moment.

My handsome horsey neighbor is a source of inspiration. Who knew? He can often be found, starting in the early morning and then throughout the day, lying down on the ground with his eyes closed.

I don’t know about you, but the fact that this week is the last week of March is completely unbelievable. March is supposed to be the longest month that drags on and on but I feel like I barely got to know it and soon it will be gone, taking the last bits of “hunker in” time with it.

As March turns into April, it’s a time of noticeable change in my neck of the woods and I don’t want to miss it. Getting grounded before my day starts takes me out of the go, go, go cycle and I do a much better job of noticing my daily world around me.

My handsome horsey neighbor and I highly recommend taking some time to chill each day.

By |2019-04-05T07:46:47-04:00March 26th, 2019|Archives|0 Comments

the elusive simple life

Hello BFF’s! I’m not going to bother filling you in on my to-do list that we chatted about in my previous posts and whether I’ve accomplished it or not.

I haven’t.

So, I started to ponder other things we could chat about.

“Uggy Doodles” – that’s my pet name for this handsome stallion across the street.

We had one 65 degree day and boy did that feel good for the soul. In our part of the world, mid-March still has snow on the ground and you’d better not put away your snow pants for another month. Snow is not a rare occasion for a while longer.

But, I’ve been dreaming of spring flowers and strawberries. And fabric and dish towels. My Spoonflower cart has a bit of yardage of some of my old fabric faves from previous designs and some new designs I’ve worked on sitting there waiting for me to consider it full and then pay for it.

Wait ’til you see them on a dish towel…happiness.

This past month I have mentioned, on more than one occasion in my chats with people, that I was still wondering where the simple country life was. Part of the reason why we moved our young family was due to the lure of country life. Simple country life.

You know, lemonade and tree swings. Hot days lazing about. Cold winters putting a puzzle together by the fireside.

I grew up in rural Upstate NY and loved every minute of it. Although my family did not farm anything, I was surrounded by farmland and the people who did. My scent memories are often of country nature smells, even manure. Ahhhhh. The smell of the fields during a summer night still makes my soul melt and add in the sounds of crickets and other naturely night sounds, I could lie there listening forever.

My after-college life landed me in the area where my college was and my suburbia days began. A country girl at heart, I also enjoyed my days with most things at my fingertips. At some point though, the country life started calling me back.

I began fantasizing about sipping Country Time Lemonade on the porch once my chores were done and I wanted our children to have that same experience.

The interesting thing is that they have started telling me over the past few weeks that they wished they could live the simple life again. I’m an awkward bird, as you know, and I already keep things pretty quiet and simple. We all love being at home with little routine so I do not add busy-ness to our days in the form of extra activities and running around. But as my muffins age and with the new school and being closer to family, we do have opportunities to be involved in activities and being out and about.

Even fun things can keep you busy and away from home.

I’ve been pondering their wish and asking them questions to find out what they mean by “the simple life”. We’ve gone through a lot of changes this past year and are still heavily in the middle of upheaval, so that by itself has interrupted our simple life. Because we love being at home, I think we’re really craving a place of our own. Our current living arrangement is temporary and we feel that.

None of our current world is bad. But it certainly does not feel simple.

What is the simple life? Is it our own place? Is it being at home everyday? Is it in having more routine or less routine? Will we feel it during the summer when we have no school routine? Will it feel better once we hit the one-year mark of being in our new world? Will things feel more familiar then once we start to repeat them and does that bring simpleness? Was all of this change the reason for losing sight of the simple life or did it just shift the factors of daily life enough and we need to be patient as we settle into our new “shoes”?

Would chickens and more critters make life feel more simple? What about owning an old farmhouse that needs major love? And living back and forth between our two places should make things simple. I bet starting an online country shoppe would make things simpler. Having a garden we can’t manage because we’re so excited to get our hands dirty finally will most definitely bring on simple life.

What do you think about all that kids? Can’t you just see the simple life right around the corner?

Looks like I’m on the right track…

By |2019-04-05T07:46:47-04:00March 19th, 2019|Archives|Comments Off on the elusive simple life

NOW it’s against the law

Our winter break was fabulous. We are a breed of peeps who LOVE being at home and crave time at home. I also ate too much, and much of it was junk food, and now I just want a tuna fish sandwich and a glass of milk.

In my previous post, I shared my love for letting the Christmas season linger into February where I can enjoy the snow and some quieter moments with my little lights, my holiday music and my baking and cooking since it all goes too quickly in December. My wee ones were concerned that it was against the law to still have Christmas decorations up in February. It’s not.

It’s the month of March and NOW it is against the law to have your Christmas decorations still up. I’m moving on and have tucked away the last lingering tidbits of that season. Time to get out the new coffee mugs I collected as I road tripped this past winter.

Starbuck’s had a collection specific to the region and as we traveled, I managed to grab the ones that were en route for us. Even though we mainly just pass through these states, I feel a slight sense of “home” from each of them having traveled this route so often.

The poinsettias on my windowsill have been replaced with small potted herbs. Oregano and chives, two of my family’s faves. I was also gifted some mini daffodils and the yellow cheeriness they greet me with is perfect for the gray days of March.

I can’t hop on board the recent trend to pile your house with all green plants (and many other current design trends, but you’ll hear about those as I work on designing our “new dilapidated not-ours-yet farmhouse”). I need flowers, or function, or some other oddity that strays from the norm mixed in. The all-green plant decor takes me back to my childhood days of a house full of spider plants and peace plants. It wasn’t my fave then and still isn’t, although I know and love those of you who enjoy that style!

The holiday dish towels and holiday CD’s (yes, I still have and use CD’s) are nestled in their storage bin ready to collect nostalgia over the remainder of the year until I go looking for them next holiday season. With another move, albeit local this time and most likely just our stuff for storage, on the horizon, I may not know where I put them come next December.

I had a hankering to design new fabric for a spring dish towel. While I was shopping my own collection of fabrics, I added two more to my online shopping cart. It’s hard not to. I’m working on making them into dish towels and will share when I get them into photo form.

My puzzle has been calling to me. A few years ago I discovered my love for grown up puzzles that have scenes that leave me feeling dreamy. Country land, yummy foods, snowy scenes, cozy moments and quaint buildings have me loading up on my “wants” for puzzles. Even though I started this puzzle in December, I had no disillusions that I would actually be able to finish it then, (okay, I did think somewhere far off in my brain that just maybe I could), so I selected a winter scene over a holiday scene so I would have more time to complete it. The winter season lasts much longer than the holiday season in my neck of the woods. But, I am now feeling the pressure to work on it because come April, my moments change and my winter choice for a puzzle will not do at all.

My cat and I have taken advantage of a sunny room to chill out for a few moments and take some “me” time finally.

I wear my socks inside out most days because the extra threads that hang from the
seams on the inside of the toe part of the sock bother me. You do that too, right?

I have been creating a list of “wants” and “do not wants” for our future forever home that the Eight Ball has promised to me. An old farmhouse is in our future but it brings with it some issues that we cannot hide from, like safety and conforming to the code of today. Being that we plan for this to be our forever home, and I have other dreams to get to, like a country shoppe and cafe, our plan is to make it right, safe and finished now so that we can move into it at some point in the future and not keep fixing it. We have younger children so a safe livable home is a must.

Oh boy, has this awakened a love of mine – house design and decorating. When I was in my 20’s, I had stacks and stacks of house plan magazines and books and I would create floor plans just for fun. I’m discovering now that house plan magazines are endangered as the online house plan has taken over its territory. Sad. I so prefer to sit and browse through a book or magazine than to sit on my computer surfing. But, I’ve found that what I am looking for in a floor plan has probably never been created before. That’s typical for me. So, I am sitting once again drawing floor plans, and although it’s for fun, it’s also for real. So exciting. So scary. What if I forget about outlets? What if I forget to add a bathroom? What if my cat and I don’t get the windows and sunny spots just right?

It’s a lot of pressure.

The home that we’re purchasing has an amazing view and is situated to enjoy the sun from the minute it comes up over the hill to the last possible moments of day when it sets behind the mountains that are beyond the fabulous farm fields in front of us. Being lovers of sunbeams, my cat and I are making sure that the design of the house ensures that we get maximum sun exposure. We’ve had numerous discussions about it.

Let’s talk about Eating. I subscribe to the “all things in moderation” way of eating and teach our children how to balance their choices and how to make selections. We do well, but there is always room for improvement. Recently, we have been required to participate in an online health website for our health insurance.

Oh ya, you’re right. I grumbled!

“What? I now have to prove my healthiness by being attached to a bunch of apps on my phone and my laptop?! Isn’t that ironic. One of the top stressors and unhealthy behaviors of spending too much time on technology is now the way I have to prove I am making good choices.

I became stressed.

Now I had to listen to someone’s voice yammering on about meditating during my “do nothing” time, which is my version of meditating.

I began to have neck pain as I carried my phone around in my flannel shirt pocket to track my steps. (I have a sensitive neck. Scarves and necklaces do the same thing. I know, it’s awkward.)

It made me want to eat.

Grumble.

Part of my gripe was that every time I think I’ll get out from under the responsibilities of life so I can start working on my own dreams and hobbies and plans and goals, some other requirement pops up. March was supposed to be “me” time, finally. Now, I have to log points.

I decided to take on the challenge and prove my healthiness as soon as possible so I could go back to living my healthy-ish life without the stressors of proving it. I finally found a rhythm because, like I teach our kids, it has to be done and grumbling won’t solve it, so find a way to git ‘er done.

Along the way, I dusted off some old knowledge.

I like to find the positives in situations. The positive here happened to find me. As I was reading through my nutrition courses, I found I was hungry and craved a carrot and celery to munch on, and that I suddenly needed the summer squash for my lunch, cooked up with onions. (I did use some bacon fat for flavor…shhhhhh…).

A few weeks later, I decided that our salty meat love affair (although limited) needed some new boundaries, so I chatted with my wee ones about my desire to kick us up a notch. They wished I wasn’t taking this course.

The positive of the situation pushed me to tweak our food intakes again. None of the information is new but it pushed me to think about other options.

I’m close to having enough points to prove that I am healthy for this online program where I can get out from under the technology of “healthy living”. But I’ve noticed that my husband, who I might add has not started working toward collecting his points yet, is somehow getting points, and I feel like they’re mine.

He’s encouraging me to keep walking and tracking my foot steps for points.

I’m reminded of the days of group projects where you do your part and then at the end, the slacker in the group ends up with an “A”.

I try to stay away from labels, but my brain is not-so-quietly thinking, “freeloader“…

My New Year’s theme of making connections and opportunites led us to spend some quiet time with a family member and during our time together, I became the new owner of these two old family cookbooks.

The “other side of the family great-aunt’s” cookbook
beauty
My great great aunt’s cookbook
treasure

Oh my! I felt like I couldn’t take them! The history and connections in these pages is immense. I always feel like I can hear the people who wrote the recipes chatting away in their kitchens and these books were full of chit chat. I flipped through the pages that day and already saw recipes that I need to connect with.

The above recipe was one that my grandmother shared with me from her days as a child. Her neighbor had given this to her because my grandmother loved her chocolate cake. I recently made the recipe into cupcakes for us and to share.

Black Chocolate Cake

My wee ones decorated these beauties.

It was fun to share the moment with my wee ones as we made these and with them and my grandmother as we ate them.

one of my favorite views

Well, in keeping with my desire to connect with you more often, I am happy we got to spend this moment together. I have some March goals to work on and will be back to visit with you soon. Spend some time in your upcoming days seeing what you can notice as you look around and listen. It really does make your days full of purpose. And do it while you still don’t have to have an app for that.

I’m finishing up my list of seed packets to order and it’s a doozy. For someone who has only been able to do a couple of potted containers, I’m in way over my head. I’ve been waiting a long time for a place that allows me the freedom to start gardening willy-nilly and my interest in “heirloom” plants, the ones your grandparents grew that were just good old-fashioned plants, has sparked in me a “go crazy” adventure this year. I’ll tell you my final count and the places I found for my heirloom seed adventures when next we chat.

I hope you can sleep tonight now that I’ve sent you into excitement overload.

By |2019-04-05T07:46:48-04:00March 4th, 2019|Archives|Comments Off on NOW it’s against the law

the thing about january

January is one of my favorite months for the clean slate and promise of more dreams to be realized and thunk up for the whole year ahead of me. When you’re a dreamer, there’s always more time to accomplish your dreams. Time is not an issue.

But January is even busier than December. It is the home to three of our family’s birthdays and the first week is always a wash because it is the end of school break for the holidays. So, it’s during the second week when I start January-ing. Which is actually partying. And growing another year older.

I had big plans to design my Christmas cards this year, but that didn’t happen right away. Christmas cards didn’t even happen. They turned into Happy New Year cards and when that was too far past, they then became Happy Winter cards. I managed to send the last of them out in the first few days of February. It counts.

And I was determined to design my own cards.

January typically brings our first real snow storms, so I like to keep some of my holiday decorations up because Christmas and snow go together for me like PB&J. I still listen to Christmas music, especially the old classics or jazzy holiday tunes. The real Christmas tree comes down but I still like my string lights and even a tree with white lights. Now is also when I may be able to sneak in some Christmas baking that I never got around to do.

The kids wanted to try decorating with royal icing.
The apples waited and waited and waited for weeks to become homemade applesauce.
I never got around to it and eventually we ate most of the apples and gave
the rest to my handsome horsey neighbor.

And sending thank you notes for all of the fabulous gifts we received over the holidays is a must in January.

I dream about February when I will have nothing to do and all the time in the world to finally sit with my cat and watch “Fixer Upper” or “The Pioneer Woman” and dust off all of my hobbies and dreams to start tinkering with.

Well, as long as we’re here, I may as well tell you about February. With the wee ones on winter break from school next week, there’s no sense pretending I’ll be blogging up a storm before February is over.

January flies by and then February comes. There are more thank you notes to write for all of the birthday celebrations. And now I need to get all of the paperwork around for our taxes. I do not like paperwork. Another snow storm hits and I still like my Christmas to linger with the snow. My wee ones wonder if it’s against the law to still have Christmas going on in February.

It’s not.

Oh yes, there is another holiday this month that requires party planning. Valentine’s Day. And snow storms require homemade cookies and breakfast dinner when you come in from playing in the snow until dark. Making moments, of course.

February is starting to go by very quickly, so now I dream of March where I will have all the time in the world to finally sit with my cat and watch “Fixer Upper” or “The Pioneer Woman” and dust off all of my hobbies and dreams to start tinkering with.

she’s waiting for me in a sunbeam

With our taxes behind me and only one birthday on the horizon in March, I’m getting excited to dabble with the plans I have been dreaming about. I’ve been working on creating a cookbook forever and ever now, it seems. I took last year off from all of my hobbies while we moved. My cookbook is calling me again and I have a big project ahead of me. I was using a site called Blurb to design my cookbook because it has amazing flexibility in its templates to design my pages any which way I choose. But it is extremely expensive to print a copy. I know you love me but I also know that you are not going to pay $100 for a copy of my cookbook. I don’t even pay that much for a copy, I wait until I have a promo code to order a copy so I can see what it looks like. It’s still expensive even with a promo code.

I knew the day would come where I would find out that I had taken it as far as I could on Blurb and that I would need to learn a book design program so I could create my own book and print it elsewhere. That day came last year when I was trying to print a copy of a journal I had created on Blurb and wanted to see a draft. In a chit chat with a Blurb helper, I discovered that I could only print my creations on Blurb, there was no other way to do it. I had to move on because it was just too costly.

So, the time to take the next step had come. On to Adobe’s InDesign program for my next stop. I was excited because once I learned how to use the program, all of the book projects swirling around in my head would be able to come to life.

But, Adobe does not sell their software anymore as a stand alone product. Because of costs and the rapidly changing technology, they have moved to a monthly online subscription program. Since I was in the middle of a giant move, I knew there would be no way I would use the monthly subscription enough to justify paying for it so I sat on my knowledge and held onto my dream for another moment.

That moment is coming as I prepare to get yet another Dummy Book and learn something new. Stay tuned to see if March will be the month I get back into my cookbook or not. I will have to recreate it again, but it will be better than before, I just know it!

Also on the agenda in March is taking my next steps to have my website redesigned and hosted locally as I prepare to open my online country shoppe (planning for the fall of 2019) and happily share locally made and USA made gifts and goodies, as well as anything else that catches my eye to make your moments matter. Your online security and ease of use is my main concern right now so I will have a professional help me get my website set up. You may have noticed that the “shopping” menu above is finally gone. I was dabbling with a program that I could add here for an online shoppe but decided against it to go with a professional instead but I could not get the menu to leave the premises when I had changed my mind. I finally took some time to sit down and mess around with it and with my semi-limited knowledge of the behind the scenes of blogging, personally asked it to leave. It was no longer welcome here on this site.

And if you’ve been around for a while, you may know that my website was hacked a few years ago and all of my award-winning blog worthy content was gone. Not even a crumb for a mouse was left behind. THAT experience made me realize that I would like to use a local hosting company to help me when something goes awry since my global hosting site could not help me despite paying extra for backups. So…I am on the prowl for a local website and design company to help me with my next steps.

And speaking of prowling…the Eight Ball that I mentioned in my previous post was right.

Of course.

Eight Balls always tell the truth.

I have stalked an old farmhouse property for years because of it’s location and views. A few years ago, I put a note in the owners’ mailbox asking them to contact me if they were ever selling because I loved it and would like the chance to see if I could make it happen.

You may find that a bit awkward, but, my friend, after a few crazy months recently of research and bothering the owners over and over, and then bothering them some more, we are in the process of purchasing that old farmhouse of my dreams. It’s a bit premature to tell you now because I am aware that it’s not ours yet and the deal could fall through at any time, but I’m so excited!

Stay tuned for that adventure. It’s a doozy and promises to provide you with some blog worthy storytelling. You know that it is not a normal house purchase if I’m behind it.

And to finish off my ramblings about the first part of the year, I wanted to see if you had thought about your guide word for the year 2019? Have you started using it yet? Mine is still evolving and I may settle on two guide words because although they could both get me where I want to go, they have slightly different meanings to me and I don’t want to miss out on either definition.

I started out thinking that my guide word would be “hospitality” because I realized that I was missing out on having people to our rental home because it isn’t settled and has some quirks. But before I know it, a year will have gone by and I would miss out on spending time with people because I was not settled and I wasn’t ready yet to entertain. Well, at this point, I’m not going to get much more settled until we move again to our forever home. So, I needed to become okay with my current living arrangement and invite people in, without excuses or apologies for my state of existence. Have you noticed that is not an easy thing to do? I’ll make sure you have a place to sit, a clean bathroom and something to eat, but beyond that, it’s not going to look even close to a house that is in order.

As I practiced my new guide word, I realized that it needed to be a bit broader because while I wanted to be able to welcome people in to my own home, I also needed to stop being so busy and go to their homes too. Or out to lunch. Or anywhere else I needed to go to make sure that I was connecting with the people who are important to me. My guide word changed to “connections” so that my daily choices helped ensure that I was connecting with people more.

dad and lass sucking it in for the photo shoot

I went along with that as my guide and all was going as planned until another word popped in to my head. Connections is a great guide word and different for me in that it wasn’t originally guiding me to accomplish my successes like the next steps in my cookbook or getting my website designed. But as the guide word “opportunity” came to me, I realized that both of those words go together and help me to accomplish all of my goals this year. Finding opportunities to make connections can get me the much needed time to spend with loved ones, but an opportunity taken may also introduce me to someone who can help me with a next step in my personal agendas. Using the people and resources around me in my community can lead me to making the connections I need to keep moving forward.

“Opportunity” by itself, sounds a little selfish to me as if my only goal is to move myself forward on my bubble map of dreams. Combining “opportunity” with “connections” adds the personal touch I want to have time for this year and make a priority.

You, my BFF, are a priority for me this year and I want to get back to spending more time with you, so I have added another goal to all of my free time in March and that is to try to get back to blogging more regularly. I am also trying to learn Instagram theatrics so I can make posts there. Boy, I’m behind in my technology and still fumbling through. I post pics with no story because I can’t find where to write my captions and then I forget my hashtags. How could I forget hashtags?

I need to get with the program.

I just posted this pic on Instagram today, minus the hashtags because I forgot. Can you tell who visited us in the night?

Mouse prints in my bacon drippings. The proof is in the…bacon fat.

If you’re an Instagrammer and want to follow along with my progress, you can find me at:

aaryne_theawkwardbird

Oh, and I just decided that I’m hankering to start drawing again to create my second coloring book for big people, with some added activities for your mental state. My first one is available on Amazon – “Happy Moments Coloring Book. Because Big People Color Too.” – by Aaryne Miller McEvoy. It’s full of my favorite places to have happy moments and my own witty quotes and thoughts.

There’s an awesome old apple tree out in my backyard that I want to draw for my next coloring book.

the old apple tree at dawn

the old apple tree after it’s been awake for a while and
has been joined by the moon high above

I can’t wait to start drawing that beautiful old tree!

Enjoy your end of February and keep practicing your guide words for 2019. I’ll be checking in again soon…

By |2019-04-05T07:46:48-04:00February 15th, 2019|Archives|2 Comments

without a doubt

I have noticed lately as I am out and about running errands, that I am talking to myself while trying to make selections. It’s the time of year where decision making is commonly at its highest and I need to run my choices by someone. Since it’s just me running errands, I get to talk to myself.

“Is this the 1000 sheet one ply toilet paper? Yes. Good, that’s the right one. Okay, are these the paper towels that can rip off at different sizes? Sweet. In the cart they go.”

“Hmmm…would they like this? How much is it? Am I going to be able to go searching somewhere else? What’s that smell? Mmmmm….fried chicken. Should we get some for lunch? Yes, of course. Why would you even ask me that question. That was a statement, not a question. Go find that chicken.”

I’m no stranger to these personalized discussions. They go on all the time, often in my head. I also think my jokes are quite witty, and can crack myself up. There’s no wit like your own wit.

This time of year brings on a lot of, “Oh shoot, I forgot to do that – better add it to the list” kinds of conversations with myself.

I do talk to the horse across the street and tell him things about my day or run something by him. So, I don’t always talk to myself.

It’s not a clear picture but he’s adorable. He loves to chill out.

My cat and I thought we’d be frolicking this month working on puzzles, catching up on Fixer Upper and Pioneer Woman, reading some seasonal fiction and maybe painting and sewing up some dish towels. She’s been holding her own and wondering where I am. Me? I’m always headed out the door. But I’ll get an afternoon of frolicking in before the next week is over if I have to force it and then stay up late to be caught up from frolicking. It’s the point. The holiday season must have some frolicking in it.

(I’m wearing an old maternity top that I could not part with because it is so dang comfy. I can only wear it in the confines of my own home.) My cat doesn’t look like she wants me alongside her frolicking but she does.

I also thought I’d be meandering the countryside doing my shopping at local small businesses with a seasonal beverage in hand now that all of my kids are in school. Who has time for that? (I ask myself.) Not me. A budding relationship with my mail and package carriers has begun since we live in a new place now. I was dubbed the “catalog lady” early on by my mail carriers and I had been so looking forward to fleeing the catalogs once we moved. Apparently, they can smell your trail when you leave.

I guess there are worse things to be dubbed.

It’s also the time of year where I often wish for peaceful quiet moments to fill your days but I’m changing my tune this year. A quiet peaceful moment tucked into our days here and there are certainly little nuggets of joy, but when chaos is often the prevailing daily encounter, I’ve tried to make sure that I am pausing here and there to appreciate the hustle and bustle. After all, it’s a part of the holiday season and one that I enjoy, more when I look back on it than while I am going through it, but it’s enjoyable at some point. So, as this holiday season swells around you, I wish you humor to enjoy the chaos around you and the grit to join in.

Our chaos found us with flour all over the bellies of clean jammies from cookie baking. (Yes, I do wonder why I did baths first.) My little helpers were frustrated by the cheap paper that I bought which was plagued by tears and tape that always ended up not where they wanted it to be so I ended up helping my helpers and not doing my own wrapping. We painted ornaments for our Christmas tree that never ended up on the tree, but are still in a bag waiting for mom to have the time to hot glue the twine on them for hanging. I also never finished painting my project because I was helping my little painters. It was a wooden wreath for our front door. It’s just green. Plain green.

Barbie and a gal pal came to the cookie party too, I see.

I never did get to read “Winter According to Humphrey” but since it is just the beginning of winter, I still have time. And hope.

I never made another batch of my favorite spice cookies or cooked up the apples we received from our local Christmas tree farm for homemade applesauce. The kids did not get to try piping and flooding on their cookies. I’m not a royal icing fan, preferring homemade frosting, but it was more about the “trying” and not the “eating” and it’s just my own preference, not meant to become a tradition that my little peeps have to follow. Although I could not refrain from sharing the “why” to my own preference…

I’m sure Santa became very tired from waiting on me to finish my wrapping that caught me by surprise so that he could come in. I thought I had been much further ahead. What was I doing all season? An electrical circuit blew in our house just days before Christmas that included the outlets for the fridge and washer. Of course. Who needs a cold fridge for holiday food? And who needs to catch up on laundry? Dirty counter tops and a muddy floor a few days later found me with my electrical circuits working again after the electrician had to pull out about a hundred outlets to test for the bad one. It’s one way to get your floors and counter tops sparkling again for the holidays.

Christmas Eve found us hosting a cable technician because the electrical issue days prior left us without internet. For someone who complains about technology you’d think I would have been okay with that, but how else would I get my bills paid? No time left to mail them or call in my payments at that point. Some things left to the last minute don’t go away. Procrastinating to pay your bills? Don’t try this at home kids.

The fixer upper farmhouse that I have loved and stalked for years became available as an option for us to purchase…right in the holiday season. Of course. Many days were spent looking at various aspects of the house to see if it would be a good decision financially for our family. The verdict is still out. It’s an old house. I need more information. The sellers are very patient with me. There are other people interested in this property. They are very patient with me too.

While hanging out in the toy aisle at Target the other day waiting on my wee ones as they searched for the perfect toy to buy with the gift cards that were burning holes in their pockets, right after a holiday that spawns new toys, I spied an Eight Ball on the shelf. Do you remember those? If you do, you know that they know the answers to any question about everything and will give you the honest answers you’ve been searching for. (It’s not the eight ball for a game of pool. Don’t talk to that ball or people will think your’re nuts.)

I reached out and grabbed the box and asked this all-knowing Eight Ball if we would be the ones in this fixer upper farmhouse dream of mine and it clearly and quickly replied, “Without a doubt.”

I also talk to Eight Balls.

Then I promptly showed my husband our future. After all, what the Eight Ball says is real. Everyone knows that.

Soon into this holiday season, I decided to stop and smell the chaos as it unfolded, for it was my holiday season. It’s what would make great stories when I recalled my month. It would make me chuckle. I’ve never laughed over perfectly cute ornaments that I was proud of nor a holiday that went off without a hitch. (I’m not sure there ever has been one.) I don’t have pictures of the beautiful cookie making moment I did with my kids. (Has there ever been one?) I have pictures of floured bellies, dough on my floor and cookies on baking sheets that have been man-handled so many times only a dad would eat them.

So…chaotic holiday and winter moments are wished upon you from me, myself and I. And my cat. And my horse neighbor. And probably the Eight Ball. I left it in the store so I cannot ask it.

Can you believe we will be settling in to another year in a few short days? Last year at this time I was preparing for a giant leap of a cliff as we packed up to move without any sort of direction and here I am a year later. What could possibly happen this year?

I need to buy that Eight Ball.

Tune in, my BFF’s, and buckle up…it’s about to be a bumpy ride as we fly around my bubble map of dreams.

My cat is waiting for me. So is my to-do list.

“Which one will I choose?”

I ask myself…not the Eight Ball.

P.S. It’s getting close to a New Year – have you thought about a word that will become your theme word for the year? Mine is looking like it might be “hospitality” and I’ll tell ya about it in the next post. Sometimes when you’re striving, you’re not thriving.

Happy Chaotic New Year BFF’s!

 

By |2019-04-05T07:46:48-04:00December 30th, 2018|Archives|Comments Off on without a doubt