May 15, 2013
Furnishing the Place
My Sturbridge plaid sofas are falling apart little by little. At least the back of the love seat is tearing away. I've sewed it back several times, but the loose fabric is fraying too much to hold any longer. I've attempted to get hold of the Boyds who are amazing recover artists who used to come to your home and make slipcovers for a reasonable price. Alas, it appears that they have retired. So, I have been on a journey to find new seating!
I hate furniture stores because they are so boring. They all have the exact same styles and palate of colors -- mostly beiges and browns and neutrals, and I feel bleak when I look at the range of what is available. I understand that those neutrals give customers the most flexibility in decorating. I also know you can order stuff in lot more colors, but I like to visualize what I buy, and I'm not very good at doing that from a swatch of fabric. I like the sofas in my living room to feel comfortable and casual -- available to loungers and grandchildren. I found something I liked at Samuel's in Ferndale, but the proportions were all wrong for my room. I have really loved my present sofas and fabric, so I decided finally to see if I could find a similar style. Fortunately, Samuel's have Drexel Heritage. I just ordered exactly what I have now as close as I could. I also ordered a fabric with the same colors since they don't have the same plaid any longer. I'm praying that my choice will be a good one. Of course, I would have loved an all white sofa, but that simply isn't practical or child friendly let alone grand dogs.
Soon after I ordered my new sofas, I found out that I also needed to buy myself a new bed. Several years ago, I was planning to buy a sleigh bed because I liked the style and wanted to put my brass bed in the guest bedroom. Millie Tetrick suggested I borrow the one in her storage until she needed it. She now needs it for her granddaughter. I've enjoyed it so much that I began looking again for one for myself.
Today, I went to Canada to IKEA which had some picketers in front of the store. They are in a labor dispute and didn't open until noon. I had an hour to spare, so I went across the street to Ethan Allan. I definitely found my preferred style of furniture. I walked in to pastels and checks, painted furniture in luscious colors, beautiful sophisticated styles and very friendly staff who assured me that I wouldn't want to buy in Canada at a 20% increase in prices from Bellingham. I stayed in the store for at least 30 minutes just oohing and aahing over the good vibes received! I found a sleigh bed that I loved as well as several other things that I simply could not afford. But, it doesn't cost anything to drool.
Maybe it is the dreary days in Bellingham that make me crave color. At least my house is fairly light. You wouldn't know my love of color from the black I wear more than anything else. But, I'd like a colorful house. I guess I'm just a Maine Cottage kind of girl. You simply cannot look at a Maine Cottage catalog without smiling and feeling good. All those luscious sherbet colors of yellow and turquoise, green and lavender. Barb, Bette, and I visited the store in Yarmouth, Maine and loved everything but the hefty prices. Ethan Allan is quite expensive, too.
I wonder why color costs so much?
May 11, 2013
I just got home from staying all night with James and Nico. Dani and Charles drove a truck to Portland to pick up some shelving and a bed from cousin Connie who is headed for the Peace Corp. She cleaned out her belongings from her long-time apartment, retired from her job, and is off to a two year stint in Moldova in a couple of weeks. Brave girl! Charles did a turn around and drove home leaving Dani to visit with her close college friend, Lillian, for a few days.
I spent yesterday taking Nico to lunch at his favorite hamburger restaurant, playing with Nico and the two dogs in the yard, leaving him with his brother while I escaped for a few hours to have dinner at the Craswells for Marilyn G's birthday celebration, then back in time to read bedtime stories and see Nico off to sleep. Around 6:00 a.m. there is a little boy climbing back into bed with me and soon after two dogs also in bed with me. It is definitely an experience in being the center of physical attention with little bodies and doggie kisses.
Order restored -- I am now home after taking Charles to return his rented truck. Fortunately, I cleaned my house on Friday so I have the luxury of sitting here, checking email and Facebook, making plans for the day, and wondering if I should try to get a bit more sleep. I'm actually reveling in a bit of good news this week which makes a difference in my fiscal well being. The first involves my error in mailing my house taxes in on the first of May instead of the last day of April. Yikes! Big fines ahead! After talking to a nice person on the phone, she indicated they would send it back to me when they received it, and I would return it with a check which includes the fine. I waited until yesterday and phoned again -- I hadn't received it back. The lady on the phone checked my account. "That posted on the correct day. You're good until October. Did you think it would be late?" Since I knew it was late, I thought quickly and said, "I'm glad it wasn't." But it was! So, some very nice person must have done me a favor and posted it on the right day.
Then, I had received a contract for the class I'm teaching but for half my usual salary because the class is smaller than usual. It was ridiculous since I'm not spending 1/2 the time preparing and teaching. Also, it seemed unfair that the instructor take the responsibility for the school allowing a class to go when it was under the requisite 10 people -- but these particular students had to have the class so the school decided to let it go with only six students. After talking to the dean, I was able to let her know that I wasn't informed that I would be making less before I began teaching. I was actually contemplating simply walking out since I had no contract. But, before we got to that place, she agreed. My department head missed the mark on that one. So, the dean said she would send me the other half of my contract. Whew!
Sometimes all these kinds of things come at once. I'm knee deep into co-chairing the restructure task force at church which is into several issues that need to be solved and that people don't always agree upon, my circle has just raised over $11,000 in what we have decided is our final rummage sale and I'm involved in getting all the leftover rummage off to various non-profit groups. We will then give all $11,000 to charity in the next few months. I'm also involved in organizing a victory dinner.
And, I'm trying to hassle with the city over a very, very large dying tree in the parking strip between my house and my neighbors. The city says I have to take it out. I say that they should -- but that can be another posting sometime in the future when it is settled. Busy times -- and busy life -- perhaps summer will calm things down a bit. I could definitely use some down time.
April 25, 2013
My sister has been laid up with her second knee replacement and has been waiting for me to write on my blog. So, since I have an hour before leaving for Mt. Vernon to teach my Child Development class today, I thought I would take a stab at it. Sometimes I just don't have much to say. Or, I don't feel very creative. Or, I get too busy. Or, I think -- why on earth do I do this? Maybe I do it for my sister who lives so far away and who I don't see very often.
I blame Dani and family for moving from Orange County -- a place they feel does not even come close to living in Bellingham, but I, myself, loved to visit. I loved flying into the Orange County airport because it is so user friendly and easy when renting a car. It is also between my sister's house in Santa Monica and my sister-in-law's house in Carlsbad. And, a hop skip and jump from friends from San Diego to Santa Barbara. I have been yearning to take a trip south for those reasons, but seem to be hemmed in here at the moment with various responsibilities and teaching. Of course, this is my own fault for not remaining completely retired. Each year, I say, "That is enough!" But, I must admit to loving to teach my class and support the interns from City University. I keep waiting for students to treat me like the old lady I am, but so far both they and my supervisors seem grateful. As I say yearly, maybe this will be my last year.
I just returned from Orcas Island. I went with my friend, Katie, who lives with me three days a week and teaches voice at Western. She sang the Mezzo solo for the Mozart Requiem with the Orcas community chorus that my friend, Bev, sings with. So we went over and stayed with Bev on Saturday and returned on Monday. The concert was Sunday afternoon. The requiem is one of my favorite pieces, so I enjoyed being in the audience. They did a really nice job, and I got to visit with Jennifer Johnson Fralick afterwards. The rest of the time was spent relaxing, eating, chatting, and enjoying the view of the water from Bev's home. She and I had a special treat when we visited the West Sound Cafe, now owned by my friend, RD Fralick, and his wife, Nanae. They treated us to a marvelous fish dinner and a tour of the property as well as catching up on all their family news.
I go over to Orcas about three or four times a year and, I must say, I really love going on the ferries and driving the island. Don and I vacationed on Orcas at a home near Bev's when we first moved to Bellingham. The islands and ferries are part of the culture of this area -- and whether you are going from Anacortes to the San Juan's, or from Bellingham to Lummi Island, or from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island, it is always beautiful rain or shine -- and I'm always charged with excitement to be on the water and having a little vacation if only for a few hours or a few days.
I spent Monday morning driving through Mt. Vernon and La Connor after leaving the ferry. Katie had her own car and had to get back to teach her voice lessons. But, I meandered through the tulips that are out in full bloom, visited a new nursery and antique store, went to Costco, and then traveled up lower Chuckanut Dr. intending to eat at one of the places in Bow but they were both closed. So, I started up the windy Chuckanut Dr. to return to Bellingham and stopped, on a whim, at the Oyster Creek Inn and treated myself to a wonderful lunch -- oysters, salad, and bread pudding. I even had a glass of wine in the afternoon, no less. That is pampering! I didn't even know the restaurant was open for lunch -- and that took me into the afternoon and evening with a lovely glow.
It was nice to be home, but it is also nice to be away for awhile and to treat oneself to culture and shopping and good food as well as wonderful friends. Life is good.
March 29, 2013
You can take the girl out of California, but...
Yesterday I went outside without a jacket or sweater and it was lovely. On this, the first few days of spring in the northwest, the temperature has risen into a comfortable, gardening mode, sweaterless, zone. Nico played outside, got his sweat pants filty dirty, and came in for a pair of shorts. The sun is shining, the water is blue, the sky is cloudless and all seems right with the world. It won't last. I know that -- but it is a lovely Easter gift.
When I moved to Washington after having lived in California for 40 some years, I took multiple steaming baths for several months. Then, I smartened up and got my first woolens. Wonder of wonder -- they worked well, and I got warm. However, I still tend to go through autumn with wearing cottons and light shirts until one day I realize that I'm chilled. The sun may still be shining, but it is getting colder and colder. Sometimes it even snows before I tap into my winter wardrobe. I never have gotten layers down well. Nor the wool sox thing! And, never a hat or scarf -- until I finally give in sometime in October or November when I realize that all my friends are appropriately dressed, and I still have on cotton shirts with my jeans.
So, when a few days of weather like yesterday come along, it is sensational to shed clothing and actually feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. I'm sure that I'm Vitamin D deprived. I love the sun. I love the sun. I love the sun. Maybe because I'm aging, but this year it affected me curiously. When it got colder, I simply did not get out to walk. I refused to garden. Dani reminded me (like her father used to do) that I always get cranky in the dreary month of February.
Speaking of Dani, she and Charles have escaped overnight to Vancouver for a birthday celebration for Charles. Nico and I played in the sun with the dogs yesterday afternoon and James, Nico, and I are going to our favorite Fiamma burger for lunch today after they get out of school to celebrate their first day of spring break. I'm glad to report that this grandma can still keep things in hand with two boys and two dogs for an overnight stay. Now that they are in school, I came home to spend a few hours preparing for Easter dinner on Sunday. These days, I plan ahead -- I'm not as agile about throwing things together at the last minute like I used to be able to do.
But, it helps to have the sun shining. It really helps!
March 16, 2013
How can it be that Danielle Christine McClellan has turned 50? Could I possibly be that old?
Talking to a friend last night, I mused over the naming of our children. When Dani was conceived, I had a student named Danielle -- but her parents pronounced it Dan-eel. I loved the name, and I wanted to name a daughter after my favorite student. A boy would be Sean and a girl would be Danielle (pronounced Dan-eel).
After our daughter was born and named, Don said -- "that is not the way we should pronounce her name -- the French pronunciation is Dan-yell!" I agreed to the change but, she was soooo tiny (not by new baby standards since she was 8 plus lbs.) I said, "let's call her Dani". Danielle was such a grown up name for a little baby. So, Dani she became except for those with no imagination who annoyed me by either writing Danny or Donny because they presumed we named her after her father. It was annoying because those people were corrected umpteen times and still never got it right.
Fast forward to the first day of Kindergarten when Don told the teacher, Mrs. Alexander, "she may not answer to Danielle so you will have to be patient." And, our now good friend Peggy Alexander, said, "Oh! can I call her Dani, too?" And, that is how we lost the name Danielle until the grown up Dani began reclaiming it as her name as an adult. As for the rest of the naming events, Jennifer was slated to be Susan until she was born and Don and I agreed that she didn't look like a Susan to us. So, her father went home for a few hours and came back suggesting Jennifer Anne. I agreed. She did seem more like a Jennifer. I could have slugged our good friend, Bob, who came to the hospital and said, "Not another Jennifer!" Of course, it didn't take long for her to become Jenny (which she then changed to Jeni).
Finally a boy named Sean. "Wait," said his father. "I'm tired of Sean. Does he look like a Sean to you?" "I'm tired of Sean, too. We've been calling our potential newborn son Sean for 6 years." Again, Don went home and came back -- what about Martin? It was two days before the first anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death and the country was still in mourning. It fit! A wonderful name for a son -- a legacy of fighting for human rights! But, no shortening his name. I still remember him as a very little boy, hands on hips, glaring at his aunt, telling her, "My name is Martin, not Marty."
I guess that the moral of this story (for the McClellans at least) is that we needed to meet our children before knowing who they might be. Somehow names in the abstract didn't define them. The more interesting phenomena is that Don and I completely agreed through all of this renaming. It was as if we were tuned into the universe and on the same page.
All this musing comes after a wonderful evening of celebrating Dani's 50th with her siblings. We had a fantastic meal at Canlis, a well known, long time Seattle favorite. It was Charles' idea that we four celebrate together. It took care of the babysitting problems, and it gave Dani the opportunity to enjoy her nuclear family with the spotlight on her alone. It was a memorable evening. We arrived in Seattle early in the day on Thursday, sent Dani for a massage, played around shopping with Jeni and were joined by Martin, Christine and Lionel at the hotel. Christine then took Lionel out for pizza and Martin hired a car to pick us up for our 6:45 reservation at Canlis. It was a four hour meal -- and amazing. Back to the hotel for a nightcap before Martin and Jeni left for home. The next morning, we were joined by Dani's friends, Mary Kay and Michael, for breakfast before heading home.
It was a lovely 50th birthday event. But, I just don't know how it came so fast! Dani says that she is going to go backwards from here on -- so she is actually turning 48. I am going to follow suit!
February 27, 2013
This morning, my email contained a few words of wisdom from my friend Bev, "The hardest thing about writing is writing." Nora Ephron. That is a bright little gift on a dismal, overcast day.
This is the time of year that I often feel a bit dismal myself. If Don were around, he would remind me that February is not my best month. I should do what other friends do and take myself into some warm, sunny weather somewhere else in the country or world. At this moment, I have friends in Mexico, Florida, California and Hawaii who need to escape the gloom of the dreary Northwest during the winter. As beautiful as it is, it gets wearing. And, I get droopy! So, small things pick me up -- yesterday it was a pedicure (my newest discovery in my lifelong learning process, and I've become addicted!). It could be as small as a cup of tea, going to a movie, lunch with a friend, or simply being reminded to do something that would feed me.
Bev and Margie are my writing companions and longtime friends of mine. We have been together for several years sharing our struggles as we go in and out of writing habits -- sometimes close to prolific and sometimes completely unproductive and barren (not because we have nothing to say, but because we allow our busyness to interfere with a writing life). We talk about this, we encourage each other, we share at times, and we doggedly continue to meet because there is a kind of magic in our meeting that encourages and sustains us. Sometimes we spend a few days with Bev on Orcas at her beautiful home. Other times we meet for an afternoon at my house or Margie's. I look forward to those times and they are precious to me -- maybe because of encouragement and honesty, maybe because we have many things in common, and maybe because they are simply very, very special women.
I have not been writing much lately although I have some things in the oven. It's not that I haven't had time, it is really about not being motivated to do much lately. So, when I opened my email this morning to find a little reminder from Bev, it lit up my very being. First, it is a reminder that even gifted writers like Ephron understand how difficult it often is to just sit down and write. Second, because a friend thought to share that with me today. And, third, because a bit of sunshine always helps on a grey day. That little nugget brings to mind all of the laughter we three have shared about our poor writing habits and our desires to do better. Those few words were a mini writing group delivered to my doorstep via computer and connected me once again to two very special people and our shared struggles.
Thank you Bev for reading this, thinking of us, and sending us an email containing some needed wisdom!
February 11, 2013
Foggy, foggy mornings!
The past few mornings have been so foggy that I cannot see the water on the bay or Canada or Orcas Island. Fog is not what I associate with the Pacific Northwest. But, every once in awhile it happens. So, this morning, I am rather fogged in, and that is a perfect time to write an entry in my poor, ignored blog. Since the writing of the blog is so very solitary, it is hard to think that anyone will even notice whether I am present or gone. Except my lovely sister, of course. And, maybe Larry Green who is always so generous to mention that he and Barb read my blog. And, my kids who probably already know whatever I post.
Martin was up with Lionel this weekend and Dani, Martin, and I looked through some old slides that I am trying to digitize so that I can have a record of them to share with my family. At the moment, they are all over the table in the "poolroom," and I am trying to peruse them to decide which to keep, which to put on a disk, and which to toss. Martin's task was to teach me how to use my new scanner and to utilize Flickr so that I can actually label the slides and put commentary with them. My first lessons used the few slides I saved from our Israel trip when Martin was in first grade. Who was that long haired, skinny, lady piloting the ship across the sea of Galilee???? That was one of the few pictures Don took of actual people -- he preferred landscapes or animals. There are lots of slides that can be dumped! We found a picture of Don from the 70s when he was on television. Martin posted it on Facebook - that was the guy I married! Of course, we also had to look at slides to determine whether or not Lionel looks like his daddy.
I'm still in the middle of redoing my guest bathroom on the second floor. So far, the Drywall is finished and painted. I'm buying the tile next and so I make slow progress (as I do in almost every project I take on). It will be so good to get that room off my list. Painting the living room and entry hall will follow. I try to do some myself with help from Charles and Keith, and hire some out when I want to just get it done. I have a house list to complete while I still live here which is often put on hold by lack of resources, busyness, or inertia. But, as long as I continue to make a bit of progress here and there, I feel smug and satisfied. Sometimes I dream of winning the lottery so that I could really finish the house off -- bathroom on the first floor, the attic painted and drywalled, the garage ... but that is a pipe dream and probably more than I'll ever do. I should move, but I'm so reluctant yet to give up my remodeled kitchen and breakfast room and my beloved view. I know that I'm closer to moving than ever. I know that it would be a terrific financial move. But, I'm not there yet. I don't know -- maybe it keeps me young!
Well, there you have it -- thoughts for today. I'm off to complete my income tax -- always a bit of a surprise -- did I calculate well last year enough to have a surplus or will I still owe some after all is said and done. I'm pretty accurate, but not always perfect. I'll soon know whether the government has more coming or if I'm getting a refund. Such a mystery!
January 5, 2013
A Poetry Break!
I sat down to take a break from organizing and storing Christmas items only to pick up Mary Oliver's new poetry book that Dani gave me for Christmas. I love Mary Oliver, and I couldn't help but feel that this poem spoke to me and complimented my posting yesterday -- at least it felt in the groove. So, here is your poem for today!
Hum, Hum #6 by Mary Oliver from "A Thousand Mornings"
The resurrection of the morning.
The mystery of the night.
The hummingbird's wings.
The excitement of thunder.
The rainbow in the waterfall.
Wild mustard, that rough blaze of the fields.
The mockingbird, replaying the songs of his
The bluebird with his unambitious warble
simple yet sufficient.
The shining fish. The beak of the crow.
The new colt who came to me and leaned
against the fence
That I might put my hands upon his warm body
and know no fear.
Also the words of poets
a hundred or hundreds of years dead--
their words that would not be held back.
January 4, 2013
I have been sick. Before Christmas, Dani and James had the strangest cold. If you called in the morning hours or the evening hours, they were in bed not feeling well. But, during the afternoon they were hopping around like all was well although coughing a little bit. Theirs hung on for three weeks. Charles & Nico had it for two or three days. Now I understand what it was all about. Since New Year's Eve, I have awakened with a horrible sore throat and small fever. It was all I could do to drag myself downstairs for a cup of tea and some toast. Then, miraculously the sore throat and fever vanished with a little bit of medicine and by afternoon I felt fine. Then, I flagged in the evening but went to bed without any aches or pains only to awaken around 2:00 a.m. when the throat began to be sore again. Today was the first morning I had no fever or sore throat -- but a lingering cough that is not too deep. Since I only had two appointments to cancel this week, I have been lying low since I don't want this to last as long as Dani's! Today I went out for a few errands, and I found it was surprisingly cold outside! I've been so warm and toasty all week.
The rest of the day, I have been putting away Christmas little by little. I'm sure it is going to take three or four days to accomplish gathering boxes and cleaning off candle holders. My basement looks like a cyclone hit it -- but it will get sorted out. Somehow, putting away Christmas has made me as nostalgic as decorating did. I can put away the ornaments, but not the sentiment. It is still a miracle to have the house decorated yearly with items collected over a lifetime. It is still exciting to hear the familiar strains of The Messiah and to sing Christmas Carols and light candles at church. It is still a wonderful feeling to see Christmas through the eyes of your little grandchildren and to spend time with the people you love most on this earth.
I have been thinking a great deal about faith these days. Sometimes these thoughts take me down alleys and into side roads in the most curious ways. One of my favorite playwrights, Bill Cain, has written "How to Write a New Book for the Bible" and "Equivocation" which I saw twice. In the credits to the plays, I found that Cain, a Jesuit priest, also wrote a television show several years ago that Don and I loved called "Nothing Sacred." It was about a priest that struggled with his faith and how to be true to his calling. Obviously, the Catholic Church didn't approve of priests that had any doubts since they applied enough pressure to cancel the series before the year was out. We were very disappointed and wrote letters to the producers to no avail. On that show was a prayer that touched me, but I never could find anywhere. Every once in awhile, I Googled the old program hoping to find it. A few days ago, I was reading a book for our book group about Ireland, and was reminded again of the prayer. I once again went to Google, but I must have gone farther afield because this time I found one of the episodes that still existed available for viewing. After trying every which way to figure out how to contact Bill Cain, here miraculously was the very program with the prayer in it.
It was written in the style of St. Patrick's "Breastplate Prayer,' but I'm pretty sure it was well adapted by Bill Cain and the show's other writers. I am delighted to find it again. It fits my present theological mood as I keep the spirit while putting away the trappings of Christmas. I have always loved the image of the Messiah coming not as a king or a ruler - a person of wealth and power, but as a tiny baby to bring love into the world. Would that we could follow in the footsteps of a Christ who fed the poor and healed the sick. Here, then, is the prayer (the parentheses are my adaptation since I could understand the words after faith):
I bind myself to the strong virtue of love
The obedience of angels
The prediction of prophets
The preaching of the apostles
The faith that (sustains me).
I bind myself to the power of heaven
To the light of the stars
The brightness of the moon
And the splendor of fire
The flashing of lightening
The swiftness of wind
The depth of the sea
The stability of earth
And the compactness of rocks
I bind myself today
God's power to guide me
God's might to uphold me
God's power to teach me
Gods eye to watch over me
God's ear to hear me
God's Word to give me speech
Christ with me and before me
Christ behind me and within me
Christ to the right of me
Christ to the left of me
Christ above me
Christ beneath me
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the eye of everyone who sees me
Christ in the ear of everyone who hears me
I bind myself today to the strong virtue of Christ
December 31, 2012
On the Eve of a New Year!
It has been so very quiet around here since Martin and Christine took our little ailing two year old home on Friday. Lionel woke up not feeling well but I hear that he has made a fairly quick recovery as children are apt to do. Dani and family drove over the pass to spend New Year's with the Wheeler family and play in the snow. Lucy, their NW Terrier, will be delighted to get back to Jon and Margaret's large snowy backyard. Jeni and Nicole left earlier and joined Ron and Allie who left Christmas night. They all seem to have left me with a scratchy throat and several days to tidy what is leftover from the fun of Christmas. And, to finish all the leftover food in the frig. Other than running over to Dani's to check on the chickens and going to see the new Bond movie, I've kept pretty close to home -- rising late and going to bed early trying to shake what keeps threatening to bloom as a full fledged cold. Considering the fact that Dani & James were coughing before Christmas and Nico after, I think I know where it came from.
There were several wonderful moments during the holiday. Marilyn, Keith, Eulalah, and I went out for Christmas Eve dinner after the lovely 5:00 church service. I joined Dani's family for opening stockings and gifts on Christmas morning. Then, family arrived here around noon and we casually opened gifts over the next few hours. Jeni & Ron did Christmas dinner --yummy salmon and roast and good accompaniments. Dani & Charles did dinner the next day with some delicious chicken and veggies. Martin and Christine brought up some yummy appetizers (we cannot possibly have a party without Christine's crumble!) and they brought some favorite crumpets from the Pike Place market for breakfasts.
Other special moments were playing three late nights of a game called Resistance that Martin brought up for our family to enjoy; watching Nico play so sweetly with his little cousin, Lionel; playing music together and Lionel loving "Silent Night" so we had to sing it multiple times; my beautiful red Amaryllis blooming multiple times; once again enjoying this house that has always been a "Christmas house!" and enjoying how my remodeled kitchen works with multiple cooks.
I went through my nativity collection this year and several of my old Christmas boxes in my effort to begin to pair down my stuff! Unfortunately, I found that I still love so many of the nativities and they have so many special memories, that I kept most of them. I mostly got rid of things that I really never use such as artificial holly or old ribbons, etc. I still have more than I will ever use if I move out of this monstrous house.
So, that was my Christmas. I still haven't written a Christmas letter. I'm not sure I will. After spending some time talking to Martin about writing, I am committed to getting back in a writing groove -- maybe that will be my resolution for 2013. I have the rest of the day to contemplate that. Marilyn, Keith and Eulalah will come over to dinner tonight and play Rummy Tiles. If I know them, they will be gone before midnight!
I can't fault 2012 for what it gave to me. It was a wonderful year of watching my grandchildren grow and being grateful for all I have in my life. I look forward to 2013 with hopes for a year of collaboration and good friends!