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COVID 19 holidays home decor Life marriage Pets

Staying Calm in the Chaos

I am a bonafide nester. From childhood I have liked to have my things in proper order, in their proper places. I frequently went through the large box I kept on my side of the closet (I shared a room with two younger sisters) to reorganize and purge things I no longer wanted or needed. I kept my side of the room neat and organized, careful to own and curate the only space in the house I could call my own.

I carried that principle into adulthood. When I moved into my first apartment during college I was careful to stake out my personal space in the shared apartment, even down to a shelf in the refrigerator. I wanted my things in their place.

I was blessed to be married for 41 years to a man who didn’t mind me keeping things in their proper places. I didn’t mind him having his things in the house, but they were to be kept in the spaces I designated for them, and he did a really good job of complying with that. His work shed out back? A completely different story. It was his domain, and I didn’t give input on it. I rarely even went out there.

Those pieces of furniture are my bookcase desk and secretary. Toys and toy baskets surround them. How about that floor?
It’s vinyl plank.

I said all that to say this. My house is driving me crazy right now. I have been blessed by being able to have new flooring installed, but the process is testing my patience. Every piece of furniture, all my books, knick-knacks, and decor items have been shuffled all over the house. Closet floors have been cleared and the contents stacked in the middle of the rooms. It only took a few days to get the large areas done, but now I am waiting on the closets, bathrooms, laundry room, and trim work to be done.

Coco’s comfy chair sits in front of the wood stove hearth and the sofa is on the wrong wall. At least I can sit somewhere, though. Books are stacked all around the wood stove!

In the middle of the job my contractor contracted Covid. He’s been unable to work for two weeks. After one week of sleeping on the sofa I finally cleared off my bed and put sheets on it and can at least sleep in my bed now. The sofa and coffee table are in good places, and the TV has been reconnected. I can get to my clothes and my food and appliances. I moved my laptop and printer onto the dining room table, which is pushed up against the bar in the kitchen. I can still write and do eBay.

The view into the guest room where I’ve been sleeping for a couple of years now. Once the master bedroom is finished I’ll paint and buy a new bed and move back in!

So why am I complaining? I’m trying not to. I have waited years for new flooring and I am finally getting it. What has been completed is absolutely beautiful. Patience, I say to myself, patience. Anything worthwhile takes time. This is October, though, and I usually decorate the house for Halloween. I can’t do it right now, but I did add some things to the flower arrangement on my dining table to get into the spirit. And I decorated my porch like I always do.

My tiny dining room with the pantry door leaning against the wall and the table pushed against the bar, not to mention more toys
in various places. Those plates randomly placed on the wall in the back? That’s a whole other story. They belong to my collection of state souvenir plates which can’t seem to stay on the wall!

This too, shall pass. And I’ll take pictures of the results to show you. In the meantime, drink a pumpkin spice latte for me. I’m doing the Whole 30 program and haven’t had one yet.

Stella is cool with it as long as I am here with her. ❤
My flower arrangement turned memorial turned Halloween.
It’s the little things. . .

What throws you into a tizzy? Please share!

XOXO

Categories
COVID 19 holidays Memoirs

Post-Christmas Post

When I was younger I used to hate the week after Christmas. It was so. . .blah. After the anticipation of Christmas Day, the beauty of holiday decorations, the visits to and from extended family, the fun of school parties, the excitement of opening gifts–well, the week after was a huge letdown.

Me on Christmas morning with a new record album
and my baby sister all smiles.

Not that I wasn’t grateful for the new things, and I did enjoy them, but knowing that the decorations would soon be coming down and school would soon be resuming made the week kind of a downer.

That was then. Now that I’m all grown up with grown kids I see things a little differently. I don’t take all the decorations down right away. I used to follow my mother’s lead and keep everything up until New Year’s Day, but now it seems that the season goes so fast, I have been leaving everything up until my birthday on January 6, which is Epiphany, the day the wise men supposedly visited the baby Jesus. This year, amid the challenges of the coronavirus and details of moving my husband into a memory care facility, I may leave everything up until mid-January or even later.

My back is to the camera while my brother Allen and sisters Brenda and Sharon look toward the camera. Faces of joy.

Caring for him and juggling visits with loved ones has left me little time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday season. It was a strange one in that I did not work like crazy wrapping gifts at the shop where I’ve worked every Christmas for seven years. This year I did all my wrapping with materials I already had, and I wrapped what I had ordered online or bought at the dollar store. I haven’t set foot in a large store for months, it seems.

So I will use this post-Christmas downtime as a time to reflect on the season. I will wait for the rest of the gifts still under my tree to be given out. Covid-19 has kept my grandchildren away but I’m hoping to see them very soon. Our Christmas may be delayed a bit, but it will be every bit as special seeing it through their eyes.

As 2020 rolls into 2021 (good riddance, right?), I will ponder making new year’s resolutions and may even write some so that I can break them later. My wish for you is a happier, healthier, more peaceful new year. You deserve it. We all deserve it.

XOXO

Categories
Being a Grandparent COVID 19 glamping holidays home decor Life Parkinson's Disease

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. . .”

“It’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer. . .” And so the song goes, courtesy of the late great Burl Ives. Remember the snowman on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated special? I was seven years old when I saw it for the first time. It was magical. Now I can’t even get my grandkids interested. The old claymation specials have nothing on today’s computer graphics animation. Ah, but they were magical, at least to my generation.

I got distracted. Sorry about that. I have decided to have a holly jolly Christmas at my house. I don’t care if a pandemic is raging, threatening my family and friends, threatening retailers and restauranteurs, threatening the traditions we all hold dear. Maybe the pandemic is a good thing.

Our Living Room Christmas Tree

What? What did you say? I said, maybe it’s a good thing. It’s changing our priorities. We are focusing more on loved ones, and not things. We are finding out that the most valuable things in life are not things at all. The things we miss are not things, either. Hugging a friend or relative, shaking hands, whispering in someone’s ear, getting close enough to detect a special cologne, gathering in groups at holiday parties, sharing a toast, kids sitting on Santa’s lap, being able to breathe without fogging up your glasses, last-minute shopping in a crowded store. Need I go on?

We have given up much this year because of Covid-19. But look at what we’ve gained: a new appreciation of freedom, gathering with friends, going shopping and dining wherever we want, gathering with family at holidays and special occasions, going to church and fellowship with fellow churchgoers. Boy, do I miss that.

My precious granddaughters enjoying the season.

I’m going to make it a holly jolly Christmas, though. I’m going to:

  1. Enjoy small things like the lights on my beautiful tree.
  2. Behold the wonder in my granddaughters’ eyes as they look at all the decorations.
  3. Experience the delight in the two-year-old’s smile as she touches an LED C9 bulb and finds out that it’s cool to the touch.
  4. Note the pride in the five-year-old’s stance as she finishes decorating the little silver tree for my camper.
  5. Enjoy the taste of pumpkin spice in my morning coffee.
  6. Relish drinking from my special Christmas coffee mugs.
  7. Cozy up to my dog next to me in my chair while wearing comfy pajamas.
  8. Relish a morning when I get to sleep just a little bit later.
  9. Wrap each and every gift with love.
  10. Give thanks for online ordering when I can’t get to a store.
Can you see the silver tree hidden in the tinsel garland? I left it just as she decorated it.

Get the picture? There is a host of ways to make it a holly jolly Christmas. Even as my days are consumed with caregiving and my nights with intermittent sleep between calls from hubby, I choose to focus on the good. Yes, I have days, even weeks, when I wonder how this is all going to turn out–the pandemic, my husband’s disease progression, the next presidential administration, life in general. But I rest in this: my God knows it all, and holds it all, in His almighty hands.

So. . . Merry Christmas. May all your days be holly jolly.

XOXO

Little “Miss Millie” all dressed up for the holidays.
Categories
COVID 19 Life

2020: On its way out

I am not aware of a single person who would say that this year has been a favorite. I suppose if you had a baby or got married or met the person of your dreams, then it was a good year, but I believe for the vast majority it has been a year that no one will be sorry to see go.

How do I hate thee, 2020? Let me count the ways:

  1. COVID-19. Pandemic.
  2. Mud-slinging political campaigns.
  3. COVID-19. Death.
  4. Record-breaking hurricane season.
  5. COVID-19. Loss of freedom.
  6. Record-breaking wildfires.
  7. COVID-19. Businesses lost.
  8. A Presidential election mired in controversy. Who really won?
  9. COVID-19. Loss of social connections.

Will 2021 be different? Most assuredly. Will it be better? We can only hope. Thank goodness my hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows the future. He knows the way. And I know Him. Do you?

I hope you are well. Stay safe.

XOXO

Categories
COVID 19

Things I Can’t Wait to Do

There’s little to do around here these days except for cleaning, fixing meals, surfing the web, doing projects, running to the store when necessary, and talking on the phone or texting. I’ve just about exhausted the projects that I am willing to take on, and having nowhere to donate or store unwanted items makes decluttering a problem.  

I’m really not complaining because I know there are many people out there working to keep us safe, healthy, fed, receiving mail and shipments, and keeping stores, gas stations, the government, etc. in business.  I pray for you guys each and every day.  Still, I bet you are looking forward to better days as well.  

Here are things I look forward to doing:

  •  hugging my children and grandchildren. Not getting to see them in person has been the hardest part of this stay-at-home order.
  • playing with my grandchildren. I can’t wait to play peek-a-boo, finally have an Easter egg hunt, draw on the cement, blow bubbles, do puzzles, read books, play hide-and-seek again.
  •  going to church and greeting fellow believers in person.
  •  sitting down at a restaurant and enjoying a meal.
  •  meeting friends.
  •  getting together with family.
  •  going to garage sales.
  •  going shopping, especially thrift shopping.
  •  camping with friends.
  •  packing away my face mask.
What about you? What are the things you look forward to?
Hang in there. Stay safe and well.
XOXO