Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Off to a Slow Start

New Years Day has come and gone and I have yet to scream and shout at the top of my lungs...how much I want you all to have the BEST YEAR EVER!!!!

So let me do it now.  I am screaming it out at this very minute.  Can you hear me???? 

I know a few of my regular readers have mentioned various illnesses, broken bones, ongoing hangovers, incarceration (OK...I might not be entirely clear on that person's excuse).... but all in all... other bloggers seem to have  really valid reasons why they haven't posted or read blogs as of late.  I, on the other hand, will go with the general "catch all" excuse of being busy.  I realize that it's rather vague, unimaginative, and lacking of any detail but it also sounds far better than the words lazy and preoccupied.   

Our last house guest left 3 days ago and I no longer get  to sit around and talk someone's ear off, ply them with baked goods and haul them around Kansas City in search of the best barbecue  joints therefore, I should be getting caught up soon...real soon.

As I am now left to my solo endeavors in a amazingly empty house, I could/should  get crackin' on my list of things I resolve to accomplish this year.

I am not a resolution maker per se.  BUT....every January I feel the need to reevaluate, reorganize, and continue my quest to find balance in my life and home.  Oh yeah..  and let's not forget the all but obligatory.....I resolve to eat healthier and exercise more just like  99 percent of the population will resolve to do. 

I don't know why but every New Year I feel a pull within my soul to clean every closet and drawer within the confines of this house and decide what can stay and what must go.  It is only after the local charity drop off facility bans me from returning due to their space constraints that I  start to feel like I am accomplishing something.  Somewhere in my subconscious,  it seems, requires that having things tidy at the start of the year gives me a  boost for getting  the year off to a strong start.  I have no proof that it matters but still,.... we annually  spend the necessary time to get everything clean and organized in January.

I wish that I could clean up the other messes of the world as easily as a person can clean out a closet and divest it of the old and worn items.  I am wanting  generous amounts of "shiny and bright" to be infused in all things this year. Did any one else feel like 2016 was lack luster?

Here's hoping for a New Year that has more civility, less violence, more consideration and less contentiousness.

Hope your year is off to a wonderful start! I wish for you shiny and bright!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Maybe Santa Wasn't Watching

Considering the Christmas season now starts about the time Halloween rolls around, you would think that I have had time to get ready for it, wouldn't you? This point was hit home yesterday when I was talking to a person on the treadmill next to me at the gym.  She innocently asked if I was finished getting ready for Christmas.  Then she said she was finished in October.   In the moment I sort of hated her.  

It's not that I haven't been in a flurry of activity for most of November and December but I still have a few things to accomplish.  This is the part where I could give you lame excuses about my continued absences of posting to TAOBC.   I will spare you the long version and just say that the halls have been decked and the stockings have been hung at this point.  It pretty much resembles an explosion of Christmas around here in anticipation of the big day. All but a few gifts are ready and waiting.  There will be a mad dash for gift cards for the couple of people that I just can't think of ANYTHING to get them.  NOTHING IS COMING TO MIND! For all of you that are judging me harshly, I can live with your scorn. 

Aside from my struggles with buying the "perfect" gift, there have been a couple other setbacks.  Is anyone else on the verge of a diabetic coma without the component of actually being diabetic?  I have been baking up a storm of goodies and have pretty much eaten my weight in English toffee.  This is not a good thing.  Luckily for everyone involved, family members are due to start arriving tomorrow so I will have to start sharing.

 Despite some of the problems, I have made strides this year as far as shopping goes.  I have been out and about in the shopping centers and have actually (for the most part) enjoyed it.  You might recall that in years past my inner Crabby Pants didn't find the crowds to be one of the great joys of my life.

You long time readers might remember a poem from a couple of years ago that sums up my joy of mall shopping during the holidays. (Isn't nostalgia heartwarming?)

If you are unable to read the print, you should be able to enlarge it by clicking on it.

AND another nice thing that I have noticed. Could it be that  this year more people are shopping on line?   At least in our area,  the traffic is just  "medium" crazy not "over the top" crazy. While there is certainly more traffic than usual the closest I have come to a problem is that I about killed Santa Claus.  Yes, Santa ran a four way stop in front of me yesterday.   He looked to be the real one so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he has a lot on his mind.  The fact that he is driving a little smart car made me kind of feel sorry for him.  He looked fairly jolly given the fact he looked "stuffed" into the vehicle. Still...I would hate to have to been the responsible party for running over Santa 4 days before Christmas.  I suspect that would really put me on the naughty list.

Besides...I really have to try to be nice to Santa. Leaving him in a smooshed smart car probably isn't the most expedient way to get the things I have asked for this year.  (Coordination, increased optimism and the ability to eat non-stop without ever gaining weight are a few of my requests.)   I am working very hard to be a more positive person in 2017.

Hope you all are getting close to being ready for whatever festivities you are planning for. OR were you ready in October? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

That Time of Year

Has it really been 3 weeks since I last posted?  Shame on me.   All I can say for myself is that it is "that time of year".

You know the time of which I speak.  In theory it seems that everything should be slowing down a bit as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter.  Of course, that is not reality.  The reality is that while the days may, indeed, be getting shorter as in "less daylight" but the demands on our time seem to remain ever vigilant.   PLUS...holiday preparation rears it's demanding little head, nagging us to be strategically planning for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanuka/Kwanzaa and/or whatever holidays you have going for you.

Currently I am sporting a bit of a cynical attitude.  ( I know...shocking isn't it?) I am feeling a bit saddened that Thanksgiving got over shadowed by Christmas decorations and the anticipation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  While this has been going on for several years, it appeared to me that Black Friday is now usurping the whole meaning of Thanksgiving and hogging the month with weeks and weeks of  PRE-Black Friday deals and steals.

With all that being said, I am clearly in the minority here with my negativity on the subject.  A early analysis of the numbers tells us that 154 million people were out shopping over the weekend.  The fact that since all the pre-black Friday advertising began (supposedly) people have spent around 36 Billion (yea...billion with a B) dollars.   

I have to think that perhaps I am not alone in my inner conflicts.  It seems to me that the whole country talks about the season of love and thankfulness in the same breath as they are spending hours scrutinizing the Internet and paper ads looking for the big bargains that they are hoping to get on more STUFF.

Not to be a total party-pooper, I typically find my holiday spirit in holiday baking, Christmas music, and all the pretty holiday decorations. OH and I do love a lot of the Hallmark Christmas movies.  Sure you can say they are sappy, but I think they are sweet.  I am prepared to immerse myself into holiday movies to remind me that everything about the holidays is about love and joy and has the added bonus of a happy ending.  Not reality you say???

Reality is a thing of the past according to the rise of virtual reality head gear.  I was reading an article about the newest techy devices on the market to stream VR programming.  Let me be the first to say that I would totally embrace a virtual world where children are awestruck by the lights and sounds of the holidays.  I suspect though that just as with many other things, young children are so inundated with the commercialism of Christmas that they no longer even notice how special the decorations are let alone the meaning of it all. The added component of decorations coming out in August (or is it now July?) doesn't help foster awe.

I know this picture is grainy as it is 60 plus years old but this is a picture taken in Kankakee, Illinois.  It was, in fact, taken nearly a year prior to my birth but Schuyler Avenue remained pretty much the same through my childhood.   I LOVED going Christmas shopping and seeing all the Christmas lights.  Sadly, the wreaths that were put on every light pole are not terribly pretty in a black and white photo but to my little child eyes they were magical. It was looking not so differently 17 years later when I got my engagement ring at Edward's Jewelry...also at Christmas time. 

Anyway as I was saying...where is the magic?  If we  now require head gear to live in alternate, virtual reality shouldn't THAT be magical and wonderful???

In the same paper that was talking about the choices we now have for virtual reality head gear there was a separate article about  a virtual reality program that allows you to actually feel what it is like to die in a traffic accident.  Yeah, how much fun is that?  I can hardly wait to ask Santa for some of that escapism....well that is if I can't find it online in a POST Black Friday give away. 

The placement of Black Friday being the day after Thanksgiving seems questionable.

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and have plenty to be grateful for.