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!