Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Well, it's all looking very festive around here now, as you can see. These next three weeks will be jam-packed with activities, performances and other events as we head toward Christmas. I'm not overwhelmed yet, and I'm going to do my best to stay that way. It happens most years, though. It's not any one thing, and I don't think I put undue pressure on myself, it's just all the stuff going on, the places to be, the things you must remember to do. I make a lot of lists. Do you make lists? Here's a list of things I feel like saying today...
12. Have you ever tried chopped herbs in a tube? I recently bought a basil tube (I was craving basil but the fresh packs were pitiful). It was surprisingly good! You just squirt out the amount you want to use and stir it in. I used it in a pasta sauce and it tasted just like I'd made it with fresh basil. I feel like apologizing to my tube for all the times I've looked askance at them in the grocery store.
11. I'm losing my grip on blogs and Instagram these days. I really want to be able to keep up with it all, but it's getting more difficult. I love to blog, though, and I'm not going anywhere. I was sad to learn that more blogs have been disappearing lately. I've also been seeing that old bugbear of mine again lately, where bloggers lament the lack of "good" blogs to read. I can't understand this. It makes me feel like blogging isn't for the blogger as much as it's for everyone else. And I know for a fact that there are still good blogs all over.
10. I crocheted a dress for the GB's doll, Nellie, this past weekend. We'd been discussing a Christmas dress for months, ever since I crocheted a summery dress for her around Easter time. I totally winged the design, but I think it came out pretty cute. It turns out that once you know the "formula" for making a crocheted yoke, you can make dresses, tops, cardigans - it's easy! I also winged the holly embellishment on the dress. It was trickier to make than the dress.
9. I'm finished with Christmas shopping, bar stocking-stuffers. Those I'll get in the next couple of weeks (they'll require some tooling around to different stores). I even finished shopping for myself (there are always a few surprises too, but this way I get exactly what I want).
8. My children have been playing checkers a lot lately. They each know about half the rules, so together it's like one knowledgeable person playing by himself.
7. We have bought our first jug of eggnog and have been busy mixing it with various spirits. I recommend amaretto, it's like eating a Good Humor Toasted Almond ice cream on a stick. Do you remember those? I wonder if you can still get them.
6. Why are cranberries so expensive? Are they difficult to harvest, maybe? Perhaps it's the short growing season. In any case, stock up now ("Buy two bags, freeze one!", say the good people at Ocean Spray).
5. This is one of my favorite times of the year, this stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The bustle and anticipation are fun, yes, but I also just really like the weather. I love when it's cold and sunny. We've had two perfect days like that in a row and I've been enjoying it a lot. I like to be just a little cold, inside or outside. I like to wear scarves and hats, and I like to need a hot drink when I come inside.
4. Do you feel better about humanity after you've kept to yourself for a while? I do.
3. Netflix has provided handsomely for us lately. I've seen some documentaries I liked, including Happy Valley, about the Penn State sexual abuse scandal; My Brother's Bomber, about the terrorist bombing of a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland; Talhotblond, about why you should never believe people you meet in an internet chatroom; and The Flat, about potential Nazi involvement in one family's history. We also watched River, which was really good but kind of reminded me of The Sixth Sense, and what would happen if that little boy grew up and could still see dead people. Anyway, good TV around here lately, even if I did just make it look like all we do is watch TV.
2. I'm eating Ferrero Rocher chocolates daily since my birthday. The Bear gave me a huge plastic box of them. I think he found it at Costco. When I opened the package, the LB got a glimpse of them and shouted, "Mmm, I love Feral Roachers!" We asked him to repeat himself and sure enough, that's what he actually thought they were called. Yum. Hasn't stopped me from eating them, though.
1. It's December first and I'm already D-O-N-E with Christmas music. We have a radio station that plays nothing but starting in November. The children adore it. They get two hours per day right now, which I will consider increasing in a couple of weeks. I don't mind the songs themselves, it's the versions they play on this station. It's the torched kind of singing, for the most past, very overdone and shrieky. It's like Christmas on helium, or maybe speed.