Perhaps you remember a post I created (or did I? Did I just think it?) where I said that this weekend would be mostly about doing things I wanted and needed to do.
It got all sorts of wacky. I mean, all sorts.
Friday - while I was at work (yes, at work), I got myself out of the office to go get my car registered and deal with insurance. This was A Bigger Deal than you might imagine. (and for those who think I just disappeared from The Office, I did not. In fact, I told my supervisor I had 'this problem' and then off I went traversing the streets of My Town for 1.5 hours and spending all sorts of money...and when I returned, I worked until...uh huh, that's right. 6:30 PM. On a Friday night. Yes, it was just about as much fun as you think...)
However, off I went to get my Christmas Tree at Home Depot and found the perfect size for...$20. It is just lovely although next year, I do want a larger one, but this one was perfect.
And then couldn't get it to do what it ought to do in the tree stand. Fortunately, I knew that Friend and Neighbor Paula would be my guest on Saturday night to have dinner and to decorate.
Saturday turned into a little cooking and a lot of running around although truth be told, some of it was to My Favorite Pharmacy outside town where there are all sorts of totally cool gifts. I got a black-and-white tote bag, a black-and-white makeup bag (are you sensing a theme?) and a Willow Tree Angel of Harmony.
I'm not real big on gazillions of the Willow Tree stuff, but there were three angels I wanted - the one with the wreath, the one with the ornament, and the one playing the flute (Harmony) and they make a perfect little holiday grouping.
And then other running about. And finally, Paula came over at 6:30 and we decorated us some Christmas Tree. Woo and hoo. It was great. The tree is now decorated with tiny white lights, gold and red ornaments, gold and red ribbon, and a gold and red tree skirt. Oh yeah, it's some kind of lovely, it is.
I also received a Totally Great and Unexpected Christmas Gift that allowed me to do some things for other people and for myself. Thus, we have an Incredible New Ironing Board, an Incredible New Iron, and an Incredible New Ironing Board Cover. It didn't come cheap, I'll tell you that! But I am delighted. And other things, too. Things for me; things for others. I'm happy.
Sunday was supposed to be Quiet and Easy, with dinner @ Poodle's in the evening. First, I managed to be Late to Choir Practice. I don't like this, particularly because Kathy the Cantor and Interim Organist was filling in for Jeff the Choirmaster (who was off in another part of the world seeing a grandbaby get baptized) and we had...more unusual (but much to my liking) music. And then I was Lector and lectored my all-time favorite passage from Isaiah - Isaiah 61:1-3 (and more...) on the 40th anniversary (yesterday, December 11) of my water baptism many years ago in Virginia.
Now, my original plan had been, go home directly after church and relax and then go to Poodle's at 5:45 pm...
But no, I stayed for the Church Supper and part of the Annual Meeting. And then ran a bunch of errands and got home at...4 pm. And called Poodle and said, can I please come at 5:45 and not 5 pm like we said earlier in the day?
And got in bed and watched Harry Potter. I'm having a Potter-a-thon. I now own all 8 films, and yes, I am very happy about that.
And finally, made a salad and went to Poodle's and we watched "For Your Consideration" and I laughed myself senseless. It was huge fun.
And then home, feeling awful tired. I know, I know, it's "awfully" but hey! I am awful tired right now and cannot be bothered to be grammatical.
YES, I drank Coca-Cola at the church dinner. YES, I ate 3 chicken legs. NO, I did not have dessert. I'm eating things these days. My joints ache due to it.
Next weekend is the marathon of Choir Outing, Landlord Party With Poodle, and Movie and Dinner With Mischa. Something 3 nights in a row...
I understand letting the holidays get the best of you.
My apologies to anyone who thinks I don't understand. I do. I get it. It's easy to get run over by the holidays.
So, every night this week EXCEPT for Wednesday (Choir Practice), I am staying home and doing things I need to do. Or want to do. Either.
And now, Days 9-11 of Advent Meditation and Memory:
Day 9 - DECORATING THE TREE
I've blogged a bit about this before but my dad was Mr. Particular when it came to the tree. He had grown up in a home that - typical Victorian/Edwardian era - had a tree with candles on it and a bucket of sand in the corner in case the tree caught fire. So...Dad, with his background in electricity, made a big deal of all the lights we could have, putting reflectors on the lights (and they are lovely - they really make the tree glow), using the famous 'bubble lights' (I think one of the Brothers inherited those...), and absolutely No Tinsel. I'm not sure why Dad didn't like tinsel, but he didn't, and we didn't have it. Ever. At all.
I remember one year in particular getting the tree. We went to Bridges' Tree Lot (I went to school with the son of the family and the less said, the better...) and there was snow on the ground, and I remember the tree was $1 per foot. This was the 60s after all. We had a green-and-red metal tree stand. And I remember decorating it at night with my parents, watching "White Christmas" on television (on our black and white...) and watching the water tower in the distance out our front window as the rows of lights turned red and then white in succession.
I miss my parents. I miss decorating the tree with them - looking at the ornaments we had in our family "since the boys were babies." We're talking 60+ years now. I have some of those ornaments...
But every year, I can decorate my own tree, and I experience the bittersweet feeling of missing my parents, but realizing how much they live within me and within my memories. Those memories bring very little pain to me, but much pleasure. And the tree...reminds me of my father, buying it, hauling it in, directing the decorating, and sitting next to it in the dark, with the tree lit, and one reading light on, as the Christmas carols played on the stereo...
Day 10 - CHRISTMAS CAROLLING
Didn't do it last year. Didn't do it the year before. May not do it this year. But I love me some Christmas Carolling. I do. I might grab some of my guys from Choir and just go out one night. There is nothing like it. Get your voice warmed up first. Wear your gloves and hats. Bring your flashlights and hymnbooks. And sing, sing, sing about the One who was born in a manger...People love it, and no one seems to do it much any more...
Day 11 - FUDGE RING AND PARTY MIX
Mom used to make a fudge ring for each of the 3 of us. Bill got one with Black Walnuts ("He's my black walnut kid!"); Bud got one without any nuts at all or maybe it was English Walnuts, and Sister here got one with pecans (because I love their toasty sweetness.) Mom just made the Eagle Brand fudge - she didn't do the whole boil the socks off it and test it with a candy thermometer and beat it until your arm fell off. She did that when she was young, and now as an older woman, she did it the easy way. Spoiled her 3 kids rotten by giving them exactly what they wanted. God love her.
And the Party Mix - you know, Chex Party Mix. Mom never made it quite as spicy as I liked (unless it was a batch Just For Weltha), but I ate it every time I went home, had it for breakfast, had it as an afternoon or evening snack, took some home with me...I loved it. Still do. Might have to make some. Hadn't thought about doing that...it's a thought. A good thought.
I'll do a separate post later for today...No, I'm not working on losing weight right now. I'm celebrating. A lot. Eating imperfectly. Struggling - successfully - with difficulty. I'm pleased. Not perfect, but pleased.
And that's a good thing.