Still de-decorating…

January 5, 2013 § 8 Comments

Putting away all the holiday decorations should go quickly.
I dwadle.
Yes, many decoration are still up because we traditionally wait ’til Little Christmas.
Most things have been moved to one table to next be tissue-wrapped and put back into the Christmas boxes.
One by one, surfaces are cleared and returned to Pottery Barn-type minimalism.  (No, we do not have Pottery Barn decor. We’re still on the “this-and-that” plan – we like this and we like that,  including old pieces from our families.)
But I’m leaving the greenery (not pictured) along the back fence. The critters like it, and so do I when I’m in the kitchen and look out into the back yard.
Below, before and after on the piano.
But the “after” is gonna get even more uncluttered. (You know what I mean; it’s something about this time of year. Form and Function, those things combining both, are put at the top of the list and remain, while anything considered “clutter” gets relegated to a closet…or a waste bin.)

DSC_0438  DSC_0128

December 28, 2012 § 7 Comments


Christmas day “gifts” (chestnuts under the tree) for the little Archies (squirrels) that come around to eat underneath the bird feeder.
They did find these and went leaping joyfully into the backyard woods to stash them. (sorry, no pictures of their “shopping”and ultimate delight).

While yesterday it seemed a good idea to start de-decorating the house, today it has become impossible. In fact, instead, I’ve walked through the house, turning on all the holiday lights and candles to ramp up the “cheer”on this cold gloomy day.

And the question will soon become (after cleaning up the kitchen and a few other bits of chores), what to read? Pippa Middleton’s cookbook? Laurie R King’s 3rd book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series? the current New Yorker magazine? more of Anna Karenina? The Discovery of Witches? or, more of Cloud Atlas?
The reading list gets curiouser and curiouser.


January 8, 2012 § 19 Comments

And so we’ve packed up Christmas.
Seems like the dark of Winter gets darker with the tucking away of the last red, gold and glittery bits.

Not putting it all away, really.
Just carrying it with us into the new year.

The advantage of some of the natural decorations is that they can still hang around outside, having moved from front of the house to back. “Interesting,” said HM.  Mmmm. guess he was thinking of sitting out there.



Happy New Year…

January 1, 2012 § 11 Comments

Into the New Year…

January 2, 2011 § 17 Comments

(photo of “bear” napkin ring taken on kitchen counter.)

No lists or summaries, no best or worst ofs, no top 10s or 20s…
Interesting that WordPress sends out a stat summary for 2010, which included a funny little pie chart, registering in the “wow!” section which it likely did (I hope) for all WordPressers!

Nope, no wrap ups or must-haves/should-haves…

But resolutions? Mmmmm, I prefer the word “challenge” which is more of a game than a resolution.
So, here are my challenge gauntlets:
   to blog with more focus (what on earth does that mean? I dunno, but Litlove just did a great post on it and nailed it)
   to whittle down (that is, read) the TBR stack 
   to meet my own challenge (though there are so many intriguing challenges out there in Blogworld that tempt) and here it is: Write a short piece of fiction, a complete story (story-ette? 500 to 2,000 words) every week. To result in 52 stories. No other “rules.”  Just, do it. Sure, I’ll let you know how it goes.

There are a million other logs one could throw on the challenge fire, but rather than creating a bonfire of them, I’ll do my best to maintain a nice steady glow in the hearth.

Thank you to all of you for book titles and ideas and inspiration and cheers and understanding and comments and quiet reads and support and humor and honesty and ‘being there’ in 2010 and here’s to a raucous wonderful creative 2011 with you!

PS And thank you for getting me back to the library. There’s a new branch near my house, sort of, and it’s wonderful. Seriously. Yes, I still go to B&N, but there, I drink coffee and write. It has become, for me, the American cafe. I might browse books and mags, but it stops there, except for jotting down things I might want to borrow at the library! Yay! Really, thank you all for that.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010 § 8 Comments

New Year…

January 10, 2010 § 7 Comments

It’s so cold here in the Midwest that none of us in the neighborhood want to spend time on our porches and balconies, defrocking them of their holiday ribbons and garlands. I’m not whining, mind you.  I know winter means winter and brings along its own little specialties. But it’s so cold it freezes your nose hairs and crystallizes your moisturizer when you step outdoors!

And who’s going to undecorate, I ask you?

The dogs need encouragement (a loving push) out the back door but once into the daylight, they frolick and ignore their freezy paws, then come skidding in the house on the tiles. We blot and dry their feet and give them the proverbial “comfort” biscuit to welcome them back to the fireside.

Anyway, the house has been un-decorated except for three garlands we are loathe to remove…and you know, there’s all that general vacuuming and baseboard stuff to attend to know, given the pine needles and all. 

Wrap Up
The year seems very intent on whipping along quickly and I’m aghast to find it nearly a third of the way through already.
The Christmas Couch Club has been disbanded. What is it? was it? Well during the magical week between Christmas and New Years and when family holiday time stands on its ear and doesn’t move, Nory and I took to getting up early with the dogs – they’re like cows, you know and need to go out and have their breakfast, not unlike the ridiculous hours at which milking cows takes place as I understand it – and then could be co-erced back to bed.

That’s when Nory and I took to the couches in the living room rather than traipsing back upstairs to bed and bothering the household. No, we each claimed a couch and a quilt, popped in a DVD (holiday movie, or the first season of GLEE) and talked and watched and drifted in and out of sleep, keeping an eye on the old beagle who doesn’t sleep well and would have gladly howled up the stairs trying to rouse HM who loves a long holiday morning sleep.

And so we named ourselves the Christmas Couch Club. We did plenty of reading, too, in those early hours between 6:30 and 10:30 am.
And sometimes whipped up a really nice brunch for the boys as they straggled from their various lairs.

Then it was back to work, and then, lo and behold, me having my wisdom teeth out, and so I’ve done a bit of re-enacting the CCC. And have, in the past few weeks, read a pile of books, including:
PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS  – Ridley Pearson (loved it!)
DANGEROUS TO KNOW – (yup, a romance novel but not bodice-ripper)
4 issues of  THE NEW YORKER magazine
2 issues of VOGUE (now caught up)
THE BUTCHER AND THE VEGETARIAN (for book review for Sauce Magazine – yikes, forgot author!)
THE WAY MEN ACT (this and the following two are on my 2009 book list, on attached “page”)

Seems there was  a lot more.

The Backyard
And while couching and not eating (this “wisdom” teeth thing seems to be a different experience for anyone who has had it done), I was lucky to spot two bluebirds at the feeder. But then today, a hawk! I mean really, I know he lives in our neighborhood, but I would implore him to be more discreet than a creature watching the goings-on at our bird feeder.

Looking forward…
Yes, there are resolutions. why not? I love a fresh start, a re-organized drawer, a clean work table in my office. All of those are in progress.  and getting each in shape means unearthing treasures, things I’d forgotten about, notes for files, piles of pictures and then those magazine pages I tear out when I read and weeks later, am sometimes left wondering why I tore it out to begin with?

A sporadic communicator, I promise to be reading and/or commenting going forward in this new year as even I await to see what writing riots ensue herein and whether or not this blog will adopt a specific form….!

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