Well, Reader, it's quite an Advent!
And today is no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o exception.
But first, last night, I came home, made Molasses-Ginger cookies - they should really be called Molasses Spice cookies because the have ginger and cinnamon and cloves. All my winter favorites! And I made them with sorghum rather than refined white or even 'brown' sugar. I was very proud of myself.
Of course, the fact that I burned them and they are - as my mother would have said - hard as brickbats, well, that's not so much fun...
My oven doesn't cook as it ought, and I have to turn it up higher. So I did. And I baked them 15 minutes just like 'it' said - and their little bottoms are as black and slick as possible - and 'they' are...hard and crunchy.
But knowing me as you do - I won't be defeated, so I will try this again. Until I'm happy. Whenever that is...I would just like them to be a LITTLE LESS like building blocks...
Meanwhile, plans are afoot to decorate the Christmas tree on Saturday night with Friend and Neighbor Paula. Hmmmm...I may have to pop some popcorn and get some cranberries and make garlands of those, too. And I'm thinking tonight of getting applesauce and a 'great big ol' thing' of cinnamon and making those cinnamon ornaments which are EVER so much fun. I love them. They smell so good...and are so cheap and easy to make...
Today, I went to see Janis the Therapist and she gave me some good insight and some good direction for some changes I may be making. What a time of year to be thinking of changing things up! Nonetheless, I want to see some difference. Poodle and I are going to say "goodbye" to 2011 and bring in a New and Improved 2012. We think it is going to be a Banner Year for us both. I certainly hope so. But 2011 hasn't been all that awful and good things have come from it.
Lunch today was White Bean Chili with sour cream (I have got to figure out how to make it with yogurt) and waaaaaaaaaaaay too much shredded cheese. That's another thing - soy cheese is defo on the menu. I have got to stir my stumps, as Mom would have said, (and by the way - 'stir your stumps' is an Elizabethan phrase...it means, 'get the lead out and get with it!') and just find some of that soy cheese. And maybe tofu sour cream. Hey! It's what I do, people. I eat a lot of soy and I try to stay away from the doggone dairy. It's me - whatchagonnado?
Oh, and I had 3 of my Cement Cookies...yikes-a-mundo. Meanwhile, I am going to go by The Mall tonight and go to a Macy's and to a J C Penney's, etc., and look at gloves. Yes, I got my lovely black suede daily driving gloves, but I want some brown kid gloves for Dress Use. And I want to see what the little buzzards cost.
And now...Advent Meditation of the Day:
THE CHRISTMAS YOU WANT
Here's my motto: Have the Christmas you want.
Most of my friends - and I bet you feel the same way if you celebrate Christmas. And if you don't, perhaps you celebrate something else. - want it to be meaningful, unharried, happy and...special.
And what so many of us wind up with is: harried, in debt, upset, fighting with family, exhausted, and...it doesn't feel like 'Christmas.' Heaven know what it does feel like, but it's not a real Christmas, that's for doggone sure.
So here is what I suggest: sit down with yourself and say, "Self, what do I want to do during this season? And, Self, what do I not want to do during this season?"
Then, go online and look for the things you want to do. Do you want to 'see the lights'? Get in the car - preferably with a friend - and...here's a thought...go see the doggone lights.
Want to hear the Messiah - look for a church or oratorio society that does The Messiah.
Want to Christmas Carol? Get a few friends, hymnbooks that you have marked with tabs, and have everyone bring something - and go sing!
Now...the things you don't want? That's harder.
You don't want to be exhausted? Ask yourself: what am I doing that just wears me out.
Christmas cards? Either write a one line note or decide that you are taking a break from cards this year. You can. I give you permission.
Going to 3 different houses on Christmas Day? Pick one - I mean, flip a coin, put slips in a hat, go by the alphabet, but pick one. THEN, tell the others that you will rotate through them during the following week. AND, that next year, thus-and-so will be graced by your presence on +mas Day, and so on. Tell them that you want to be at your best with them and being tired makes it impossible to enjoy their presence. Try to say this with a straight face...
Buying too many gifts? Easy - tell the folks you exchange with (generally family) that you want to draw names. If they don't agree - and boy, did my family really get into drawing names until we stopped and then I suggested it and they didn't want to - give a gift to your parents and tell the rest that you just can't afford it. Nothing says Christmas like giving gifts that you can't afford to unappreciative teenagers who sneer at them and can barely be prodded into whining 'thank you.'
Too many events? Choose the bare minimum. I mean bare minimum. You won't go to hell if you miss Cousin Lauren's Cantata but you probably will go to prison if you commit homicide on Christmas Day because you are Exhausted Beyond Belief and Not In The Christmas Spirit.
You can have the Christmas you want. The catch is - you have to say 'yes' to the right stuff and 'no' to the rest. The good news is that if you will slow down for an hour or two, you'll figure out exactly what the right stuff is...
I promise. Been there, done that, and am happy with the results.
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