Diary of A Homemaker’s Week: Not Looking Anymore


Saturday:  Writing this on Sunday.  I was absolutely done in by the time we arrived home on Saturday and unable to formulate thoughts into physical words.  Supper was cooked for me.  I'd insisted on takeout but was vetoed and in the end, we used what we had purchased at the grocery and added in two items from the Dollar store in town since Aldi had none of those two items in stock.  It was lovely.  Yes, clearing up was mine to attend to but that was fine.

But that was the back end of the day.  Let me move all the way back to Friday night.   First, we had a small one to deliver to a parent.  After the swap off, we stopped and got pizza for our supper.  That's two Friday nights in a row with that and I will admit they were very good.  Homemade pizza dough is good but there's an airiness to pizzeria dough that I have yet to achieve with my homemade dough.  I do see that the simpler toppings are the better the pizza seems to taste.  And that a thicker crust, not as thin as I stretch it here at home, is tastier.  Oh yes, and that Marinara is the best sauce.

We had a small group meeting to attend, and the plan was to sing Christmas carols.  It wasn't all it might have been.  No one had music, there was a small disappointment because John didn't bring his guitar, but as no one had any clue what pieces were going to be sung, there had been no practices.  Frankly practice here at the house had been out of the question and our printer would NOT work to print out the songs he'd found online.  It was all super frustrating from our end. And apparently equally frustrating from others side as well.

The group was almost as small as the one the night after Thanksgiving was, as most people were busy.  We found lyrics on our phones and sang along best we could.  At one point we all pulled up one song and every one of us had Latin or French lyrics and struggled to find English.  We laughed more than we sang, and we enjoyed ourselves.  As a carol service it was pretty much a bust. Our meeting ended early which was just as well and was fine with John and I as we were weary as could be.

We drove home and admired the few homes with Christmas lights.

I will say, I'd hoped for more from the Carol Singing.  I hoped I'd find that missing Christmas spirit hiding somewhere but I didn't find it.  But surely if I keep looking, it will come?

Up early-ish on Saturday morning and we had that homeless outreach to go to.  I'd tried hard to convince John that I wouldn't be a part of it, but he'd been so hurt about my not wanting to attend that I caved and said I would join him.  I did as I said I'd do.  When we asked what we might do, we were just told to serve, help, talk to people.  

I started out at a table of goods being given away.  There was a woman who most obviously was in charge of overseeing that portion and I quickly found she had her own sense of how things should be run and so I simply did as she said. Others joined in that space, and I soon wandered off, because I confess, I'm a bit bossy myself (I am the oldest child after all), but I dislike it in others.   

It was so cold outdoors and didn't seem to get any warmer.  There was hot food and hot coffee, but most people seemed to end up with cold drinks. I started going around asking if they would like a cup of coffee and taking it to people if they said they would.

I talked with them, though some were shy to speak to. Others were chatty as if we were next door neighbors and that was fine.  I tried not to push myself on people, but I had some nice conversations that day.   

But I won't say it was easy.  It hurt me to see the young people especially.  The older people I saw I had less sympathy for but the young people...That hurt me.  There were three sets of young people that really stood out.  A young couple with a baby was one.  That girl had sandals and a thin jacket.  The baby was wearing a sleeper and wrapped in the thinnest blanket.   The girl sat down with two plates of food, and I offered to hold the baby for her.  She shook her head.  "I'll feed him first...then I'll eat."  I watched as she fed the child with her fingers.  I didn't realize that the young man sitting near her was the child's father until he took the baby from her after she'd fed him.  Then she took time to eat.

There was a young girl with a tall young man.  He treated her like a princess.  He pulled out the chair for her and helped push it back to the table.   He pulled it out when she was ready to stand.  She'd said she'd like to go to church, so he came to the table where 'The Boss' was to pick out an outfit for her that he thought she might like to wear.  His tender care of her really touched me.  

There were what I assumed were two brothers.  One was obviously older and the younger seemed not quite right, too innocent in face and manner, if you understand what I mean.  He disappeared and I noted that the older was quite anxious until he located him once more.  They too were young.  The younger didn't look as though he could be more than 14 or 15 at best.

It was these that made my heart ache and these who stand out.

As the crowd dwindled and clearing up began, I told John I needed to go to the car.  I was cold as was everyone else.  But it was more than cold, and it wasn't just physical pain that drove me to the car.  I was so drained I could barely put one foot in front of the other.  I have said all this month that I am overwhelmed with things here at home, but I was truly overwhelmed at the needs of so many people.

I confess that I am prejudiced. I figure if you're on the street at my age, you've got enough experience under your belt you really shouldn't be in that position.  Mind you, there are still those sorts that would have been called Hobos back in the depression days, folks who are transient and simply drift from one place to another, always looking for that next thing, that next place, the next job.  There were those sorts out there, too.  But the young people...That tore my heart.  Like as not, it was an adult's poor choices that landed them on the streets.  Not all of them, I'll grant you but the majority.

Oddly enough, only the transient sorts were honest about their lives.  Most of the others didn't want to share their story and no questions were asked.  To be sure, I'm not so naive I don't recognize the aroma of a tattered and well used excuse or three but for the most part the transients were honest.  There were those sorts as well whom one knew instinctively weren't quite as they said they were.  But mostly it was just people in some pretty harsh circumstances and here was a hot meal and a couple of pairs of socks and a few other items to help them out.

When John finally came to the car and suggested that we wouldn't be grocery shopping after all, I protested hard.  I wasn't in the least pleased that I'd agreed to come with the explicit promise that at least we could grocery shop, and he was ready to change plans on me.   But it was too much to go into the store.  It was.  I'd have been better to come home.  I was so close to tears the whole afternoon and evening and I found that silly outages at the grocery simply made me want to weep, that whole sections of grocery items weren't even seen and I've honestly no clue if they were in stock or out.

On the way home, I asked John if we might stop by Wendy's to get a Peppermint Thick and Frosty.  I'd wanted to try one ever since hearing that Wendy's had them this season.  I was sure that something seasonal as a treat would help me find my Christmas spirit but no, it wasn't there, either.  Honestly, I'm not sure where I might have found it after what I'd experienced that day.  Silly to think it might be hiding in a cup of ice cream.

When we came home there was a tree.  A frosted tree with a tiny box of ornaments and the addition of a handful of truck ornaments that were given to someone small last weekend.  A very special tree that got carried around the house for a bit, though the tree is nearly as tall as the carrier.  

I'd been thinking of putting up our tree which has yet to be brought in from the shed.  Just the idea of getting it out and bringing it in and battling to keep it in one spot filled me with dread.  And now I wonder if I really want to bring it in at all.  There's such pride in this little tree and it finally landed on the table where I put our tree last year and hasn't moved since.  I don't want to bring out mine to outshine the one that has made another so happy.  Its owner placed the tree where a tree ought to be, and it's stayed there all evening long.

Meals:  Bagels and Cream Cheese, Satsumas, Coffee

Leftovers at the outreach

Sweet & Sour Chicken, Stir Fried Vegetables, Rice, Egg Rolls, Mini Pot stickers

Sunday:  It was cold this morning.  Frost was so thick on the lawn that it looked as though it had snowed.  I felt on a morning as cold as this one we could only possibly eat oatmeal which is so hearty and filling and seems to warm from the inside out.  

I bought some Ponte Knit pants a few years ago, three pairs of them and I haven't worn them at all in nearly three years but in this really cold weather those pants are just the thing to wear if we're leaving home.   I nearly froze in a pair of jeans yesterday.  The knit pants are thicker and heavier and perfect for the cold.  I wore a brown pair this morning. I paired it with a sleeveless off-white top and a pink sweater and felt I looked rather nice.  Of course, I topped it all with a winter coat and was glad of that to use over my lap as a throw once we were in church today.

On the way to church this morning, I tried to explain to John why I'd been so extra drained yesterday.  It all sounded very lame to my ears, and I felt rather ashamed of myself.  I don't like leaning on excuses, even truthful ones, for not being better at handling things than I am.  I told him as simply as I could that the giving out to others who needed so much more was just exhausting to me emotionally and psychically.  It does sound lame but it's no less truth.

John had promised we'd go by Tractor Supply today to look for a Christmas gift I wanted to buy.  I am determined something shall go under the little tree for a Santa surprise on Christmas morning.  Cash may fit all the others, but this Christmas will be the first memorable one for the two littlest members of the family and I think it's a shame to waste an opportunity to play Santa.  We found something suitable.  Incidentally we also found a decent price on canned cat food for Misu who holds reign over this household.

Home to sort the house out and plan out meals for the week and wonder what lunches might be and breakfasts and put things away, etc.  No less tired but a cup of coffee carried me over the roughest part of being tired today and has held me up until now but it's starting to fade.

I found a bell in my purse.  It was given to me last Saturday following the program at church.  I passed it off to the little in the house who ran to put it on the tree.  

I was told that we might expect Snow on Christmas.  I've my doubts about that but the temperatures will most assuredly be cold for Christmas weekend.

Meals:  Oatmeal, Toast

Chili Dogs, Chips

Roast Beef, Roasted Cauliflower, Salad, Mayo Muffins.  Just a Chuck Roast that I cooked in the slow cooker, but we ate it as roast.  There are lots of leftovers of the beef which was my goal.  I planned it into meals this week.

After supper tonight, I got dishes cleaned up and then I sorted out the fridge.  Foods were packed for work lunches and will go to the office fridge leaving me room to thaw meats for the week. 

In the morning, I'll have to clear the freezer.  We've got the repairman coming to look at it.  Of course, it's not making a bit of noise at the moment...But it was screaming loud as usual yesterday.  Torn between hoping it's as noisy tomorrow and hoping the problem has resolved itself.

Monday:  I think the repair man has forgotten all about us...I asked John about calling to remind him, but he's done nothing about checking to see if he is coming.  The fridge is back to roaring once more.  More waiting, sigh.  Ha.  I just asked John again if he'd leave a message, but he handed his phone to me and walked away.  I've left a reminder that we really want our fridge seen to.

I was wondering about how to handle another situation and when it was appropriate to deal with it all but as it happened, another person sort of set things in motion and within five minutes all the loose ends were tied up in a pretty little knot and everything was done.  One more step to go and then we shall be finished with it all.

It's quiet time in our home.  I haven't even considered making cookies.  I realized I'd forgotten the key ingredient for the most requested Christmas cookie when at the store on Saturday.  I'll have to try and stop as we are in town tomorrow to get that.  

I need to get supper started.  It's so cold that nothing is thawing despite sitting at room temperature for hours now.  I had one plan, but another is proving to be the one I'll have to go along with.  Never mind.  It shall taste lovely, and our bellies filled with something warm and satisfying.

Meals:  Warmed over Mayo Muffins with Sausage Gravy on top

Mac n Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Pears for smallest.  Tomato and Cheese sandwiches for the elders.

Chicken Parmigiana, Pasta, Zucchini, Green Beans 

later:  The repairman never came.  He did however, return my call and he's meant to be here Wednesday between 9 and 10am.  He had a good reason for why he hadn't come today, and I appreciate the return call.  In the meantime, the dinosaur roars.

On our rather shorter ride this afternoon, I thought long and hard about Christmas and about my lack of feeling about the holiday.  This is so unlike me.  I often feel stressed at Christmas time but generally I LOVE this season.  I love the sacred parts of it and the childish Secular parts as well. I look forward to the season and I try to do something extra, something special each year during the season.  I read special books and we watch special movies that I save especially for this time of year.  And in there somewhere I always find the Christmas spirit.  

I asked myself: So, what if it doesn't come this year?  Is it any less Christmas?  No, it's not.  The wonderful things are still there.  I'm just not participating as fully as I want to.  And then I said to myself, "So why do you need to work so hard at something you don't feel?  Why not just sit back and relax and let the season unfold?"  Suddenly I felt as though a load came off my shoulders.  My expectations of what I ought to be feeling, how I ought to act, what I ought to do, were released.  

It won't be any different than that little tree across the room.  There are no lights on it for obvious reasons, but the light in the room is caught by the tiny little balls and reflects gently back.  And maybe just maybe I don't have to shine any more than that tree does to participate in this season of joy.

Tuesday:  Oh, these early mornings are so darn hard.  I tell you why it's so hard...It's not even the early hour.  It's the inability to sit and enjoy my cup of coffee.  It's just not the same when one must monitor first breakfasts for a hobbit child and try to drink coffee and then prepare second breakfast and serve that.  It generally takes about two hours to drink a cup each morning, as opposed to my former quarter to half hour habit.  Thank goodness for my Yeti coffee cup.  At least it's hot for that full two hours.

We had an appointment to keep today.  Lots of tantrums and "No!" and such went down beforehand.  A nap was had on the way to the appointment and that worked pretty well in our favor.  Fortunately waking was a natural thing just before we arrived at the destination.  I think all was well while I was indoors doing my thing.  We attempted to do a second errand with all three of us together, but it didn't work out.  John returned to the car, taking the third party with him, and I was alone for that one.  John did the next two on his own and then we came home, picking up lunch on our way to eat here at home.

The day has just flown past and that's the truth.  Despite the late hour after lunch, I got supper prepped and in the crockpot.  Fortunately, it's one of those that doesn't need hours upon hours of cooking.  It was awfully nice to have supper pretty much prepared when we went for the usual afternoon run to the trash dump and ran into town to the post office to drop outgoing mail.  

It was rainy and messy outdoors.  So much so that a certain small one fought me because that one didn't want to go out in the rain, not even for a ride!  I was very close to saying I'd just stay home, but Grampa to the rescue.  He just hefted the body up and tucked in the car seat and away we went.  Cwismas trees and lights were shining brightly when we got to town and that made this reluctant rain child quite happy.

I suppose that it's just my time to think during these evening rides and I've decided that I'll just remember all the pleasant things from Christmas seasons past.  There are so many to choose from and relish once more.  Like the cloudy and cold Christmas day I sat for hours upon hours under a pine tree listening to the wind in the limbs above my head.  I'd read in a story somewhere that one might hear the angels' sighing if you sat under a pine tree on Christmas day.  Well, I never did hear an angel sigh, but I did smell the cold piney scent and I got fairly frozen.  When I finally went indoors the warmth in the house was triply welcome.

I've decided that as of this afternoon, I am not going to worry about the 'next' thing.  I'm done.  Officially, I'm making this my Christmas vacation.  I'll have to prepare meals and do general clearing up that's just facts.  But I'm going to allow myself the leisure to read and take naps if I choose and not worry about a thing more until Christmas Day is over and done.  If anyone needs me, I'll be snuggled in my favorite chair, feet up, with my nose in a book.

Meals:  Peanut Butter Toasts, Bananas

Take out (Burgers for guys, Philly Cheesesteak for me)

Brenda's Smoke Sausage and Au Gratin Potatoes, Peas, Sliced Tomatoes

Wednesday:  Another cold and drizzly day.  I think the weather is prepping us for the weekend temperatures ahead.  

This morning the repairman came by to fix our fridge.  The dinosaur is dead.  Not the refrigerator, just the dinosaur.  

The repairman was big and tall and little one in the house kept calling him "Big Man".  When the repairman discovered the source of the problem, he showed it to John.  The little had to see it as well.  That one is very nosy about the mechanics of things.  Apparently, the fan bracket had bent slightly, and the fan was hitting something inside the cover. It is now fixed, and the thing is so quiet that we're thinking the fan was an issue long before it began the horrible roar.

After a busy morning here at home trying to get the house straightened, I started a pot of soup.  I had a variety of things in the fridge I felt would make a decent pot of soup.  As I was prepping that for the crockpot B called to say that he and V are doing well and to wish us a Merry Christmas.  It was lovely to hear from them and get a chance to catch up.   They aren't blood related, but they are family to us.  B is friends with my three younger children.   Virginia was known to the two oldest of the younger set as well and after she and B got engaged, we were introduced, and we are all friends now as well.  I am Gramma Terri to their only child, a role I cherish.  There's always room for one more, isn't there?

After we got the little one down for quiet time, I went into town to the local post office to take care of some things.  I took a chance while there and grabbed a roll of Bubble Wrap.  Then I waited around while the poor post mistress fumbled to answer three different phones, wait on customers and deal with express drivers dropping off packages.  She was alone there for some reason, and she was literally run off her feet.  At one point, a customer called, and she offered to call her back.  "No, I'll just wait..." said the lady on the other end.  The post mistress looked at me with something akin to desperation in her eyes, lol.   It was my turn to be waited on next and no one else was left in the place except me.  I told her, "Go on and take the call.  I've nothing special to do."  She thanked me.

As I was filling out a card or two to drop in the mail another woman came in.  She spoke of her father who walked to the post office twice a day every day it was open.  She said she hadn't a clue why, but unless I'm mistaken, at one point there was more than one delivery daily, a morning and an afternoon delivery.   Nowadays it's just one pickup and one drop off and in most of the small towns that occurs after 5pm.

Anyway, the woman related the story of how when she got her smart phone the phone would say "You've got mail."  She said every time the phone would say that her dad would jump up and say, "Did that thing say the mail was in?"  She said she had the hardest time explaining emails to him, lol.  

I left the post office and went over to the Dollar Store where I gave in to the usual temptations and spent more money than I meant to spend.  Pretty much all of it was related to Christmas really.  Candy and such that we normally don't keep on hand, a gift item or three.  Nothing I've serious regrets over but it's one reason why I typically avoid the Dollar Store.  

Buying candy today also prompted a Christmas past memory.  Granny seldom had candy in her home but at Christmastime she bought a lot.  She had the Millefleur candies that were so very pretty with the flowers in the middle, jelly filled hard candies, peppermint, butterscotch and cinnamon hard candies.  She had soft peppermint sticks. Ribbon candies.  Coconut Bonbons.  A variety of Brach candies: caramels, Toffee Royales, Neapolitan coconut squares, bridge mix, chocolate stars, nut clusters and more.  As a child it was an absolute delight to walk into her living room on a Christmas day because there was all the candy in a variety of beautiful dishes and jars sitting on the coffee table, where one might help oneself.  Parents were seldom as enthusiastic over that display as the children, lol.   Now what she did with all that candy after Christmas I couldn't say but it is safe to say that we seldom saw it after that day!

Home to have lunch with John.  Before I knew it quiet time was done and we were back in the trenches with a young one whose primary word is "No", though there are some complete sentences being spoken at times now. "Come on Gramma, let's ride!" lol.

We took our usual ride this evening.  I contemplated the mistletoe in the Sweet Gum by the driveway.  It reminded me that Granny always sought out Mistletoe at Christmas time and had it hanging in the doorways of the house.  I remember her sending Grandaddy out to shoot it down from the high old oak trees.  He must have been a pretty good shot to clip those thin stems off from the tree branches.

I pulled recipes this evening for cookie baking tomorrow.  Butter is resting on the counter to come to room temperature.  I won't overdo it but I've been requested to make at least one favorite.  I decided I' treat me with my favorite as well.

Meals:  I don't remember what we ate at breakfast.  Pancakes and Bacon?

PBJ for the little one, with apple and chips.   Chili for us with the end of the Tortilla Chips.

Soup, Hot water cornbread cakes.   Soup was a failure this evening.  The soup was really good mind you, but two of the three adults turned up their noses at it.  The little one ate a plate full of meat and veg from the pot without any of the broth.  Asked for catsup, and I put some on the plate.

There are a lot of leftover needless to say, though I had only a few ingredients in the soup pot.  I'll find a container and freeze it for a future meal.

One thing I've had in the past month is a lot of waste.  I do try to feed food scraps to the boy cat that has come to stay, and he eats some of them, but a lot of it just ends up in the trash.  Children are generally wasteful I find despite trying to keep portions small.  

I contemplated this evening and asked if I was being more wasteful than usual.  I'm not.  Truth is that we've had NO spoilage of food items which is very wasteful indeed.  But most of the food scraps that leave the kitchen are leavings on plates.  I'm learning to fix smaller portions for individuals and let them choose if they want seconds.  And I'm trying to be more proactive about using up leftovers for lunches or putting them in the freezer for future meals.

Thursday:  Another gray drizzly day.  

Yesterday we wrapped the faucets with bubble wrap and covered them for the wintry days ahead.  I turned on the pumphouse light.  I filled the bird feeders and have seen a few birds fluttering around them.  I want to see if we can wrap the cat carrier wherein the male cat has his bed with plastic and face his doorway eastward, so he gets less cold wind.  His realm is the back porch as Misu has laid down the law and refuses to brook his coming anywhere near the front porch.  In fact, she routinely walks around back and screeches and hisses at him for good measure, lol.  Quite the Queen of the castle that one.

This morning before serving breakfast I'd started bread dough in the bread machine and began setting up cookie dough ingredients.  I made a full batch of the Amish Sugar cookie dough.  A bit over half of that made up the Thumbprint cookies my children ask for each year.  The remaining dough and all available sprinkles made up sugar cookies.  I mixed sugar and sprinkles to make fancy sugar cookies and when I was out of sugar, I just put sprinkles atop some.  The sugar cookies are my favorites, and I must say these are the prettiest ones I've made in years. When those were done baking, bread went into the oven.

I put Magic Cookie Bars in the oven to bake as we ate our lunch.  After lunch, while I washed dishes, I started the Stovetop Cookies that is John's only desire for Christmas cookies. 

Mama used to make cookies each Christmas.  Loads of cookies. Oddly enough, I recall only that she made Magic cookie bars, fruitcake cookies (those were mixed up in a huge old dishpan and we children had to dig in with our hands to mix all the ingredients because Mama had a single wooden spoon strong enough to do it).  She made those Haystacks (chow mein noodles) and Stove top cookies.  Once she made some cookies that had graham crusts and candy orange slices atop. I remember those being delicious, but she only made them once when I was perhaps 8. I can't remember what else she made but it was quite an array.

In my early first married years, I determined that I could afford to make cookies as gifts for our relatives and I went to work.  It began a longtime tradition of making cookies at Christmas.  It was nothing to me to make 100 dozen cookies. I made all sorts of thing, Pfefferneuse, Sugar cookies, Haystacks, Peanut butter cookies, and many more.  

John hated the big production (and stress) of the baking of dozens of cookies.  He convinced me that we should poll the kids and just make the one cookie each felt they had to have come Christmas time.  That ended up being the Magic Cookie bars, Sugar Cookies, and Thumbprints, as well as the Stove Top cookies.  I've pretty much stuck to those few ever since and seldom make any but the stovetop cookies outside of Christmas and everyone is happy.  Just as a comparison, today's baking/cookery made 8 dozen cookies.  That was 2 hours more or less of work.  You can see that shortening my list was a huge savings in time, money, and stress!

In the baking time, the lady of the house next door ran in to see if we wanted anything from the stores.  I sent her off with two or three dozen cookies.  Then the gas truck came up the drive and the little one and I carried a dozen cookies out to him.

I appreciate our gas man taking the time to check our tank before this cold weekend.  He said, "The computer told me you wouldn't need gas, but I'm checking all of my customers just to be sure everyone is filled up for the weekend ahead!"  

Years ago, when we moved in here, Granny arranged to have the gas tank delivered and called the gas company to tell them to put me on the same schedule as her own fill-ups.  Rusty has been the gas man all these 26 years and he's never failed to stop by routinely to fill the tank.  

If you were to ask me if I have any more Christmas Spirit than I had at the start of this month or even the start of this week, I'd have to say honestly, "No, I don't."  But giving myself permission earlier this week to relax and just let this season unfold without my feeling I was missing something vital has been the kindest thing I could do for myself.   I have enjoyed remembering the pleasantest of Christmas memories.  I've loved getting cards from so many friends this year.  I like the simple little tree with its handful of decorations.  And all of that is just good enough for me!

Meals:  Breakfast Sandwiches

Turkey and Cheese Sandwich, Chips

Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, steamed Broccoli, Biscuits

Friday:  I was thinking yesterday afternoon that today I'd go outdoors and gather some greenery to put on the mantle and buffet.  I'd love to do something with the center of the table, but it has to be friendly for little fingers that want to poke and prod.  I noticed a load of pinecones under a tree out behind the shed.  Perhaps I could gather those to put in a bowl and poke in a few pieces of cedar?  That might work rather well.  Little damage to be done with those simple things.  But do I really want to brave that frigid air outdoors?  Brrr!  Greenery would be nice but it's not absolutely vital.

As we drove yesterday, I admired all the greenery along the roadways.  Cedars and pines are quite common around here, along with some holly and mistletoe.  I mentioned the mistletoe that Granny always had earlier this week.  She didn't keep bringing that in once he died.  But what she did each and every single year until she was well into her late 80's was put up a real Christmas tree.

Some years it was a pretty shaped pine, but most years it was a nice sturdy cedar.  I told John that Granny never did have an artificial tree, not even a little one.  There were trees all over the property here and she availed herself of axe or saw and brought one home.  

Granny had a variety of ornaments.  She swapped them out over the years as some of hers broke but what she consistently did was string those big old bulb lights, you know the ones I mean.  The sort that got hot and if the tree was dry would set it afire.  But she also had bubble lights that were so very pretty.  And loads of tinsel.  Her trees were gloriously full of tinsel, and it was the loveliest thing when the tree was lit, and the room lights were low.   

Tinsel is not so common anymore and I'm sure if I looked as far as the search box on the next tab in my computer, I would find out that it's horribly bad for the environment, etc., but it was pretty.  Now and then I see a box of it in a dollar store or drug store and I am so tempted to buy it and put it on my tree.  Alas, it's truly a nuisance on an artificial tree and I'd rue the choice the moment the tree came down for the season.

It's plenty cold today, as I've mentioned.  I think everyone is pretty doggone cold.  For us the temperatures today will top off at about 30 and then plunge into the teens overnight.  We're letting the heat pump keep us going today, but instead of closing off the house, we've opened all the rooms and will keep them open through the night.  Tonight, once the little is in bed, we'll turn on the propane heater and let it run on low all night long.  We'll open cabinet doors and likely let faucets drip to keep pipes from freezing.  Not John's favorite thing to do but necessary.

That's pretty much it for today.  The rest of the weekend will be as restful and quiet as one can make it with a little in the house.  We plan to try and visit Mama tomorrow afternoon and then go on from her house to the candlelight service at church.  Christmas Day we will be at home.  If across the field home is feeling up to company, we may pop over to see what the children there got from Santa.  

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas weekend, each of you!

(C) Terri Cheney

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