Archive for December, 2016

More or Less

I’ve been thinking all week about the inspirational story I was going to write to end a year of wins or losses (or a combination of the two) for many of us. Politics, disaster, and rock ‘n’ roll heaven are a few of the topics that came to my mind. I should have known better. Any time I have a plan on what to write, it never quite works out that way. So as usual, it is what it is. I have had few, if any, resolutions in the last couple of years, so I am going to make a couple of pathetic attempts to inspire others while at the same time improving myself: I hereby resolve to put away the dishes every morning before I leave for work. This will be perhaps an inspiration or more like a hint for HIM to wash more dishes or to install a dishwasher in our tiny kitchen. I would certainly break this resolution by January 2 if I were to resolve to put them away every evening, because I tend to get distracted by the computer and TV and then doze off like an old woman. Admittedly, I AM an old woman, but it doesn’t help that Barney the Chihuahua wakes me up every morning at four bells. I would like to work less, spend less, and save more. Maybe I will inspire the members of our Congress with that resolution, since they already have the first part down pat. I think that they are probably too busy counting their followers on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the adventures of a Farm Woman from Minnesota, however. I resolve to drink more water and less coffee. That one will hurt. I will spend more time on yoga and less time lying around with a Chihuahua in my lap. That one will hurt even more, and Barney agrees. I will spend more time gardening in less space. With HIM doing 99.9% of the work, my gigantic garden was dismantled in the fall and will be reborn in the spring as a small area of raised beds, allowing me to pull more weeds with less effort. With all the work HE did, I should probably keep my mouth shut about the dishes. I will write more and watch less television, perhaps even changing the genre of my column and blog to one of political commentary and government affairs. Did you just snort? I was kidding. Really, I was. I like politics even less than I like cleaning out the chicken coop during a heat wave in August. I hope that 2017 brings all of us many more smiles and a lot less tension. I resolve to do my best to help with that once my caffeine headache goes away and I figure out how to do yoga without looking like a twisted up sourdough pretzel. Happy New Year!

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A Simple Christmas

I finally decorated the house for Christmas a few days ago, something that I have been putting off since the first of the month. I decided to keep things easy and simple this year, since we are not hosting either of the two family get-togethers, nor are we expecting a lot of company. I thought about just using the smallish pre-lit artificial tree rather than getting a fresh tree and not using more than a few of the 1,043 ornaments we must have by now. As I pulled the tree out of the rather smooshed-up box, I realized that the stand was missing. It is a stand specific to that tree, and after looking aroud the basement with no luck, I decided that it might work with our regular tree stand. I searched high and low in the basement and garage and even behind the woodpile outside to no avail. Both stands were missing. No worries, though. On to Plan B: I would just use the small tabletop tree, which would look great on the antique fern stand that came from my parents’ house. I brought that up from the basement as well as a plastic tote full of decorations. I had just replaced the small string of lights on the little tree last year, so it should be good to go, except….they didn’t work. Luckily, they came with a bag of replacement lights and fuses. Unluckily, I couldn’t remove even the first bulb from the string, so I replaced the miniscule fuses after first searching for my bifocals and a tweezers to do so. They still didn’t work, so I threw the whole lot in the trash. Luckily, I remembered that I had purchased a small strand of lights last month to use in decorating a sweater for the Ugly Sweater Contest at work, but just never got around to. Unluckily, they needed three AA batteries and the battery drawer only contained AAA batteries. By now, I was starting to lose a little bit of my Christmas spirit. Back to Plan A. I figured that the stand was perhaps packed into one of the three large totes which are stored in the basement 11 months out of the year. I checked the tote that I hauled up earlier, and found that it contained a few cookie plates, old candles, and a gigantic mass of tangled lights in all shapes and sizes. The ghosts of Christmases past. These totes are heavy, and I usually have HIM haul them up for me, but he was nowhere to be found. I hauled the second, and then the third up the stairs. By now I was beginning to sweat, and had not even the smallest iota of holly jolly Christmas left in this tired old body. I finally found the tree stand at the bottom of the last tote I checked. I put the tree up in record time, fluffed the branches, threw on a few ornaments, and plugged it in. The way things had been going, I fully expected the lights not to work, but they were perfect, every single one of them. With a warm crackling fire and a simple little tree, the holly and even a little bit of the jolly were starting to creep back in. Until HE came home. Looking at all the totes and Christmas mess spread around the living room, he said, “You didn’t have to haul EVERYTHING up. Since nobody’s coming over for Christmas, we can keep things a lot more simple this year!” Sigh. Pass the eggnog.

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