Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The build up to the holidays is very stressful for everyone. The gifts must be purchased, wrapped, sorted, tagged, packed, loaded and in my case, forgotten.  I worked a full year on an afghan for my son and his significant other (there's got to be a better term than THAT!) With jut a few finishing touches required, I didn't wrap this beautiful work of art, instead planning to finish it up in the four hour ride to Long Island.  With that in mind, I'm sure you know what I'm going to say-that's right, I forgot it.  We left at 6:00 a.m., and without a full coffee-inspired reaction, I was unable to remember this one handmade gift.  We packed for ten or eleven family members, and I must say that I did that (with my daughter's assistance) very well.  Each family was sorted and packed into one single and large gift bag, marked with the location. We made a few stops over the holidays, and each one was well planned.  Except for the afghan.  I didn't even remember it until my son walked into the house and I looked at him to say hello.  At that moment, it came crashing down around me.  I didn't have their afghan. Damn, damn and double damn!
 And so, with this year's faux pas fresh in my mind, I am planning and looking to next year with high hopes and great expectaations. I will be buying early, wrapping early, sorting early, and FINISHING early. I will take on nothing larger than a scarf or hat, and it will be manageable enough to be completed by November, at the very latest. I have the wool, I love to knit, and this should not be a problem.  As soon as the tree i removed, I will be bringing my spinning wheel upstairs from the studio.  I will finish!  As far as resolutions go, I am not making any except for my annual resolution. I fully intend to monitor the language that comes out of my mouth and to fully eliminate any words that would offend. I tend to have the mouth of a sailor sometime, and I hate it!  I make this resolution each year, and every year it is followed a little longer into the calendar.  I won't say how long it goes, but I will admit that I usually have to re-remind myself around Lent.  Quit the cursing!  I try.  I think it is a valued resolution, and I give it my best shot.  Anyone with an interesting resolution?  Quite possibly there is a cursing support group I could become a member of. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yesterday we had "The greening of the church" which is when "many hands truly do make light work" (another Amish saying that is very true! Right after the 10:00 service, everyone dives into the "decoration boxes" and gets started. The aisles get the tall pillar candles, the wreaths go up on the walls and each staihned glass window gets a candle-lit window sconce-the tree (from our property) always looks so majestic in church - in about 20 minutes or so, the church is deand tree is decorated for the Christmas eve services, and looks magnificent. This is my favorite time of year. There is something for everyone! Just like at home, all of a sudden things look very Christmassy-I don't usually get "in the mood" until then. Seeing the church all decorated and realizing there are only 7 days until christmas is enough to get even the laziest shopper started! And luckily-I did alot of shlpping yesterday with Jerry-we went with a list and just chipped away at it! Not once did I get sidetracked. I'm quite proud of myself! Last weekend friends came and picked out a tree:
and on this past Saturday, the gentlemen from the church came up to pick out the tree for the sanctuary: The interesting thing is, Jerry and I had picked out a candidate for the church, looking at it from all angles and thinking this was a great tree. When the four gentlemen arrived, they went out into the pasture before us When we arrived slightly after them, and with no communicaation between us about location, we pulled up to the same location and found that where they were standing (in a choice of 8 acres or so) and found that they had picked the same tree.  Coincidence?  I don't think so. I think that there was a little devine intervention going on-I love when that happens!

Right about now is when I usually start to panic-but this year, I have it all under control-we were actually able to take in a Christmas Cantata that my friend Missy was performing in. All in all a lovely weekend!  We were in Colonie Mall on Saturday, and low and behold there was Santa, looking exhausted and daunted by the line of children wrapping around the ChristmasLand venue. I guess he gets overwhelmed too! We have decided because we're going to be on L.I. for Christmas, we will do our christmas here before we leave-this means we don't have to organize yet another bag when we get on the road. A Brilliant plan if you ask me.  We're really going along swimmngly with Christmas, and I think we might pull this off with little drama.  I'm praying for that! Of course I too have been known to be a little delusional about this time of year, and maybe that's the case, but for right now I'm going to wallow in this feeling of accomplishment. By thursday I will probably be in a panic.  We'll see!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Moonlight Walks

Because neither Jerry or I is compelled to stop tasting the Christmas goodies, we have begun a walking regine after dinner. We were going real strong in the summertime, putting on running shoes and giving ourselves a couple of brisk laps around the cemetery, which is next to our house. We could work up a good sweat, and negate the calories of getting into the car and driving to Granny's Ice Cream stand for a nightcap. The lines were long but the girls behind the counter are quick. After a time waiting on the line and chatting with all the other patrons we would step up to the window and place our order. Because we live in an area where dairy is readily available, ice cream happens to be world-class delicious, expensive and abundant. If you order a Baby size, it is the equivalent to a medium on Long Island. And they just grow bigger from there. Granny's has soft-serve and they have to tip the cones on their side to get them out of the ice cream stand. It's pretty wild. When someone orders a "Large" everyone starts to laught and comment, because clearly this customer is new, and has no idea what he's in for. So now we are walking because with the onset of autumn and winter, we lapsed a little bit in our walking schedulee. Here it is December and we have been eating Stewart's delicious ice cream (half gallons)without regard to the need for exercise or restraint. There are certain things that you basically never run out of. Eggs, milk, peanut butter. Ice cream has now joined the list of items that we will ride into town to replenish. If we have foolishly allowed a half gallon to get to the point where someone is getting shorted, it's a trip to Stewarts. We live approximately six miles from Stewarts, in Meco. Now, six miles on a straight road is nothing, but on North Bush Road where we live, it's quite a trip. At least a half hour round trip. We've done it. Which brings me back to my original explanation of why we're taking evening walks. But the benefit of this leisurely stroll through the black and stillness of the cemetery is that we are able to chat about the days events, our opinions of certain television shows or books, or just holding on and navigating the dirt road. And every once in awhile, you get to observe a moon like this:
It's not a bad trade-off.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Classifieds

You can tell alot about the economy by reading the Classified section of your local newspaper. I actually read ours from cover to cover most days, either the paper version or the online version. I read it before we purchased our upstate vacation home (it is a home now, it was a glorified tent back then). When we became interested in the area, we both were online alot reading the local paper, finding out people's ideas and gripes through the editorial section (you can weed out the wackos pretty quickly when you see their letters, week after week). Sometimes you can see who is front page news in the community (they also show up frequently). There is alot of information to be had in the newspaper that you won't hear from the Realtor. Mostly though, you can read the Classifieds and see what is happening right around you. I love to see the pleas from St. Jude. I always say a prayer for that person as well, just for extra. It can never hurt. You will read about the obvious things, snowmobiles and cars for sale. But lately, I've been reading of lesser items, that would only be considered for sale if things were not going well for the seller. And the prices are usually a clue. "Christening Gown-$10 or best offer" This particular ad broke my heart. Is ten dollars all that that gown represents to them?; and are things that bad that they would let it go for that? Where is that child? Don't they want that gown? Or am I a sentimental old fool?How about $5 for a recliner? I've seen that kind of ad, and I know that anyone who would spend the time to place a classified ad for $5 is in dire need of that money. I am not judging these folks-not at all. What I am doing is considering, every day because of the newspaper, how incredibly blessed we are in the choices we have made, and the success we enjoy. I wonder about these people, and wonder especially if they are also being helped by the various churches and agencies that offer assistance. It's almost like a peek into someone's life; one that is not always available. , or honest. And we get to see how decisions are sometimes made out of necessity. And I wonder why the Classified column is now spilling over onto another page, with people selling things that may have mattered to them, for less than their real value, because they need it. That's the part that I wonder about. And that's why I read the Classifieds in the newspaper-front to back. Sometimes I need a little reality check, and a halt to the consumerism that starts to seep into our psyche. It's not about the gifts, it's about the giving to those in need, and making sure that the love of all our holidays are meshedtogether at this time of year. Of not being offended when someone says "Happy Holidays" or "Happy Chanukah", and looking instead to the fact that someone was wishing you anything good. Letting it all be good, and sharing the goodness with anyone you can. You just never know who really needs it. But if you look carefully, you may find it in the Classifieds.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Black Hole

I'll bet you thought I meant the black hole in space. Oh no,I'm talking about the blogger's black hole. It has just taken me 30 minutes to sign onto Blueline Farm and Apiary. I want to blog, but it is getting increasingly difficult to manuever the world wide web. Is it the equipment? Or is it ME who is not getting it? I have to assume at this point that it is my age which is causing me all kinds of problems. I can look at the "Lilac Bliss" on the Windex bottle and spend a few seconds wondering what "Lilac Buss" is? My eyes are going, my mind is going, and my body has been gone for quite some time. I woke up one morning and I had a tire tube of flesh around my middle that was not there the day before. Truly, it was overnight that my physique went from athletic and lean to overweight and tired. I was a dancer for heaven's sake-I should be aging like Rita Moreno, not Stevie Nicks. I will also admit that it took me a few minutes to remember her name. I could picture her clear as a bell, but her name escaped me. It's funny sometimes, because all I can really do is laugh. Otherwise, I'd be sobbing all the time. When I was in my 40's, I looked around and was very comfortable with the way I was aging. I felt good about myself. It was a trick. Just when I was confident I was going to have a relatively comfortable retirement and my golden years would be like the viagra commercials, that features a woman who looked like maybe she would be worth all the side effects for the man (if you are experiencing kidney failure, immediately contact the nearest health facility). Ya think? I'm taking so many medications and vitamin supplements that I should look like Jane Fonda. Strong and lean. I am now Dancing With the Stars - an exercise video for cardiac strengthening. It's working out quite well. I do the video in the morning for about 45 minutes including the cool-down, and then I spend the rest of the day trying not to eat so much because I'm STARVING from all the exercise. Fortunately , I live very far from town, because with Stewart's ice cream being at the bottom of our road, it could get ugly. It's a dilemma for sure. I'm being very stoic, and I hope to have an "after" picture sometime in the spring. But today, I'm baking Christmas cookies.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm not Donna Reed

It does get a little muddy out there!
It's been a longer while than I would like, since I've written in the blog.  I do try to make it relevant if possible, and as you can see, not much has been going on. We've had trips back and forth to Long Island and had the opportunity to see family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. It's all good, but it's all busy.  I'm was wondering how I was able to manage the house in Glen Cove, before we  moved. It has occurred to me that we had cleaners come in once every few weeks, and they were essentially like a SWAT Team, the bathroom and kitchen floors were gleaming, and I was able to sit down in a dusted and vacuumed living room, all at the same time!  I am doing these jobs, make no  mistake about it!  I'm exhausted. But by the time I get to the vacuuming after having dusted the day before, it needs to be dusted again! I have made some headway with organizing and cleaning. The spice shelf by the stove was cleaned and is now beautifully organized with shelf papers. Quite a job. But I can't keep up. The dogs seem to be on a mission to bring in mud, even though the driveway has been completed and we are mud free on the people who traverse in and out of the house. They do run out in the field every other day or so, and  of course Bailey has to run past the pond, which is really just more than his dog-will can stand. He's got to get both from paws in the water as far as he can, so he can peruse for bull-frogs. It's a little late in the year for bull-frogs, but he looks anyway.  Daphne just runs through any wet area she can find out there, and Jake, due to his weight, will squish through anything that was just damp.  Somehow, they all get muddy. By April, I've stopped worrying about the floors, but it's still a little early in the winter to have thrown in the towel. I worry about that. I happened to park behind a cleaning service today, while I was running some errands in town. I did jot down their number, on the off chance that I win the lottery and will be hiring staff. Because I also remembered that I was working full-time when we had the cleaning service. GLITCH!  Working full-time is justification for not getting to every corner of the house. Weekends were saved for trips upstate and family. Not cleaning. But now I am home, with no excuse. It's shameful. I am working on a few knit projects for Christmas, and that does cut into my day. The beautiful thing about knitting is that you can also watch HGTV with one eye. I do love those international house hunting programs. But I digress. The  real problem is the floors. If I could just get that off my list, I could probably do a bang up job of keeping the rest of the place clean (omitting Allison's room, which I haven't seen since 2008). I'm sure I could. Now where did I put that number? . . .