Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Blessings

I haven't much time today so I will mke this brief. As I prepare for this holiday I am keeping positive thoughts and taking my sweet time with everything because I am determined not to fuss this year. As I go about my plans I am thinking of all I am grateful for. (Do you keep a Gratitude Journal? It is truly an uplifting feeling to write all the good things in your day and thank God for his grace and the light that shines on you.) I am grateful for my husband and children. Adjectives cannot describe these people in my life that I have been blessed with. I am grateful for the roof over my head and how hard my husband works to provide for us. I am blessed with good health and a happy disposition, a sunny outlook on life, a heart bursting with love for all things. There is so much more but I have to end now. I want to make Thanksgiving a wonderful day for my family and friends and I promise not to fuss. It is the love in the room as we sit down for our feast and the light that shines upon us all that I have the most gratitude for. God bless you all.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Following My Own Advice

Hello Monday. A day to loathe for some, a day to start off running for others. Grrr...The best laid plans of mice and men oft times go astray and they are for me today. Got my holiday plans organized on paper but it is already 2:00 and I have no more than thrown a load of clothes in the wash and showered. Tried to fit some sweaters in drawers and decided to pack away the summer stuff. Can't pack that stuff up too tightly as we are spending Christmas in Naples. Florida, that is. Son number 2 is a golf pro down there for the season and couldn't get the time off so we are going to him. It is sort of a relief as we now don't have to make the frenetic rounds of family visiting and socializing. Bah humbug you might say of me, but as much as I would like to say that I'm cool as a cucumber with all the entertaining, gift buying, wrapping, cooking, baking, yada yada...I'm not. I get weird. I want to start shopping in August, but no, I'm a mall rat starting the second week of December. I do a little shopping downtown, but then it's just getting caught up in the merriment of the season; the beautiful decorations and lights on State Street, the gorgeous window decorations, the carolers and corner musicians, even the Salvation Army volunteers with their bells and pails bring a tear to my eye. But oh then, to pop into a warm, dark wooded pub and have something warm and fuzzy and alcoholic. Bliss! Let's stay awhile and take a late train home! That said, the husband and I are going to buy the children small gifts to bring to Naples. By small I mean something that can hide in a suitcase. Once there we can do more shopping. We are staying in a little resort on the ocean and we have the whole set up, kitchen, dining room, living room, bedrooms. So we are going to get a real tree and lights and hang some type of adornments on it. Coconuts? And I will make the traditional dinner. Not everyone is taking this whole change of tradition well. Emily is worried about the dogs being boarded, Abby thinks our Christmas tree at home will get lonely, Jeff is worried that we won't have a big screen television to watch sports on and Kevin...well he's just looking forward to an enormous turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Well I went a little astray with what I started out on. My To Do List goes on and on and I have 3 more days to get this house in shape. I wonder what I have been doing the past couple of weeks knowing that company would be coming now. Curtains to be washed, book shelves organized, just so much clutter everywhere. I'm a clutter person, but I thought I did it in an organized way. Wrongo. And all the magazines advise against stressing yourself out over the small details. Well if your not going to stress out over them now, when will you?? These are things to be addressed sooner or later and why was I lying about reading this useless advice instead of DOING something??? Well, I'm going to started. Oh, FYI. Martha Stewart advises to take the turkey out of the freezer today to defrost in the fridge by Thursday. Goes to show you I do glean a little info from my magazines. Then again all Martha has to do is go out into her yard for a fresh bird. See ya!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Quiet Sunday (cont'd)

Had to stop. As is with the revolving door on my semi-empty nest. In spite of this quiet day and my small interruptions, ideas for the holiday plans swirl in my head. At some point I will get out my 3 x 5 cards and write down my ideas; plans, menu, decor, shopping lists, chores, fix-ups, etc., and then start the shuffling game; putting the cards in order by priority, making additions and deleting, crossing things off when finished (a good feeling!!). I once played a little reality game with myself when I felt overwhelmed with things to get done in the house before I could leave to run errands. As some may learn over the course of time, I can be quite stringent about certain things and totally relaxed about others. One thing, I can't leave a messy home behind me. I don't want to come home to it. I don't need to face anything energy draining or routine after I have been out and about and having fun. So... I timed myself: 7 minutes organizing the kitchen. Loading dishwasher, sanitizing counters and emptying garbage. Oh, and feeding dogs. Next, making living room orderly, putting away diregarded clothing, shoes and items, dusting up ashes from fireplace, general fluffing. 5 minutes. Bathrooms-easy. Good old bottle of disenfectant and paper towels stored under sink. Squirt, clean, rinse, clean towels, voila! 3 minutes. Master bedroom. This is hard and will be expounded on in future blogs. The hubub of the family. Think big old four poster bed, stacks of books and magazines, television and clickers, soft, comfy quilts and pillows, two sleepy, snuggling critters. Oh, bliss. Some say I live in my P.J's. Why not in a retreat like this? Anyhow, takes a while to make up the bed with all the linens and pillows. And this is a big priority for me as instilled by my mother. We were absolutely required to clean our rooms after breakfast. A made bed was a happy Mum and so now for me. Anyway, a good 10 minutes for this. Now I stop. Forget the rest. These rooms are the most lived in rooms and must be ready for my return and will undoubtedly get unruly again. However, my point is, once broken up by time, you will find that chores looming in front of you rarely take the enormous amounts of time you imagine. And when you see it is all routine and you can bounce from one thing to the next without diversion, you can then move on about your day without a hitch. Try this in all you do. Break down the time it takes to do the umseemly chores in increments instead of lamenting of all of it over your 5th cup of coffee. Tried and true. Ask Blondie. A quote:

"Devote each day to the object then in time and every evening will find something done."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love this because there is a gorgeous street in Chicago named Goethe. Ha Ha.

A Quiet Sunday

Very quiet day here. Awoke and husband had already gone off to work. Normally he is zipping through the newspaper so he can be ready to watch the Bears game at noon. He is however ready to sign a lease on a new office building downtown and hads loads of paperwork. Wandering around with my coffee I wondered, is this what an empty nest will feel like?? The only sounds , being the dogs snoring contentedly, the bird making an occasional psychotic squawk, the hum of the fridge and the usual old house creaks and groans. Jeffrey, son number one, popped in about noon still wearing the tux from the wedding party he was in yesterday. Not much to say, just grabbing up his things he left here yesterday before changing. Actually had a Mummy moment then, helping him with his tie. So off he went today, I' m sure to climb into his bed for a day or two to sleep off the party. Emily, daughter number three, has been unseen. She is the one I refer to as half out of the nest (maybe I need to give her a little nudge). She and Mikey have been an item since last New Years. She pretty much lives with him (and his mom and dad and brother...) but it is only a few blocks away and ironically, next door to her grandfather. Imagine, practically growing up next door to the love of your life and never thinking more than "yuk" when coming upon one another. Anyway, she will show up some time today to grab her homework and get ready for classes tomorrow. She is almost half through with interior design school. Always the creative one. Have to run for now. Will be back.