Posted in Musings and Mutterings

No Good Ideas for a Title

There. That says it all.

I just have no ideas for a catchy, or descriptive, title.

Holiday prep around here used to have a set of guidelines and processes. We’d always gotten out the lights and decorated the house the day after Thanksgiving, and we had usually gotten our tree by the first weekend in December. Those first two weeks in December were the best time to decorate since my daughter’s holiday concert was typically the second weekend in December. The children and I (both my own and the daycare kids I had) would make snowflakes from coffee filters and wrapping paper from paper grocery bags. We’d decorate the house with our “art”. Baking was a scheduled event and one particular CD had to be played every season. Sounds stifled when you read it, but it had a comfort to it. A scheduled, unhurried rhythm that got it all done.

As the children grew, things changed. We expanded our holidays to include our “family of choice” ( meaning our dear friends) and new traditions formed. Those traditions came fairly organically. Now that my children are grown and on their own, and the majority of our family of choice have moved to other states, our traditions have also changed. Just not as organically from my point of view. It’s taken me some introspection to get to where I am.

The first year we lived here we decorated everything. Everything!! Lights were everywhere and it was fun. We had a pretty good crowd of people visiting, so it felt right to be festive.

Last year we did very little. In fact, it was so bad I ended up going to the store at the last-minute and finding paper gift tags to hang on a tree just to say we had one. It was depressing, but we were traveling and I couldn’t justify putting everything up just to leave it while we were visiting our son.

This year, Hubby was too busy to really help, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the more I can do on my own, the better it will all be. To that end, I picked up lights that are easy to put on and decided that I’d take a “less is more’ tact with everything.

I was much happier this year with that. The whole pressure to have a perfect looking home or the perfect cookies or the perfect light display à la Good Housekeeping was trashed. I decorated to please me. Just me. If the kids liked it, then fine. If not, oh well. I bought new decorations and found new places for older things and did whatever I could (when I could) and didn’t beat myself up if it all wasn’t just perfect. I always try to do the best I can, but I didn’t berate myself if the results weren’t magazine photo worthy, especially if I liked them.





No tree is really complete without a cat under it, is it?




I guess the real point here is the evolution of my holiday and decorations in some ways reflects my life. When I was younger, it was all about structure and the children. As the kids began to fly the coop (and we did as well by purchasing a different house) my life was one big transition. Now that everyone has settled in for a bit, my life is … well.. what is it? It’s busier than I thought it would be, and it’s also quieter now and then; I find I have time to do what i want to do.

I supposed the goal for 2015 is to figure out just what I might like to do!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Sharon’s “Gone to the Dogs”

Every now and then you find someone who reminds you that life is pretty good, just because of who they are. I met someone who made me very happy this past Saturday.

I’d gone to the Carroll County Agricultural Center for their Easter Farmer’s market to see if there was a new wreath for my door, or maybe some spring plants for the yard. There were candies and cakes and more baked goods than you could shake a stick at, but there were also some crafts.

A banner on the wall announced that the two tables which had the most adorable paper crafts, belonged to Sharon’s “Gone to the Dogs”. Everything appealed to me. The colors, the prices, the neatly tied ribbons and the creative message boards and photo frames. Even the small bags of candy were attractively packaged. It was a field day for someone who has a stationary addiction the way I do. Thank you cards, and note pads are a true weakness of mine!

While I was looking at her items, Sharon came around the table and began to talk about her “hobby”, which she said might actually be more of a curse, just because it begins to take over. She was happy and bubbly and her demeanor reminded me of someone else I knew, however, just a tad gentler. She mentioned that she had taught school for 40 years and she and a friend had collected so many tools and gadgets that she felt like she had to use them and since she could only give so many cards to her sister-in-law, she’d decided she’d try to sell a few. You could tell she’d put thought into her display, just as she had in all her items.

I mentioned that I really enjoyed sculpting with fimo clay, but didn’t like to make things anymore because I had no where for them to go, nor anyone to give them to. Without hesitation, she picked up a card and offered to share a table with me if I wanted to display some items with her. Well now, that was pretty nice of her!

I found some really cute boxed note cards that I thought would be a nice gift for the parent volunteers in the chorus, and in keeping with my attempt to keep my money local, I bought 5 sets from her along with two baggies of candy for the two “local” children I’d be seeing soon. She was so happy she had a customer – and said so – she was glowing. She kept saying how happy she was that “someone likes my stuff!” and “thank you for renewing my hope that this might work!”  But what floored me was when she said, “Please make your check payable to the Humane Society.”


She said that she doesn’t take any money for the items she makes. She only wants the money from her sales to go 100% to the Humane Society. She had a reason to make items, the animals were supported, I got a tax break and everyone was in a pay-it-forward win-win situation! WOO HOO!! I can’t tell you how frigging happy this made me. I could have hugged that little woman for being exactly the most giving and loving person. And I’m glad I wiped out her boxed set collections because now she has a reason to sit down and play with her hobby again and the puppies and kitties got a nice donation check!!