“Flaming June” by Frederic Leighton, oil on canvas
A daily reminder to take notice of the positive things we tend to overlook
1. Anything written by Beethoven, soaring, monumental, music of the angels, especially Symphony No. 9, written by a completely deaf man
2. Christmas socks. I love socks with snowmen, reindeer, santas, Christmas lights. All colors. Short and long. I wear them all winter under my boots.
3. Caitlin’s white bear from when she was in the hospital. Wears Caitlin’s pink booties. Plays “When You Wish Upon A Star.” I bought for her in a toy store near the hospital. Toy store is gone now. Bear is still here.
4. Still having a roof over our head. We are so far behind in our mortgage, I am very grateful that we still have the house.
5. “Flaming June” by Lord Frederic Leighton speaks to me. I see myself in it I go back to it again and again and again.
Okay, so according to my timeline, I should have the dining room finished, the new table up, the shopping finished, the outside decorations up, and be well on my way to doing the Christmas cards and starting the wrapping of presents. Right? So to bring you up to date, this is where we are . . . . . . . . I would insert the sound of crickets chirping here, but that would take too much time.
The dining room is not yet finished: The fine china has yet to be packed. There is still one corner that has not been cleaned, and the printer has not been moved off the small table to make room to move the buffet out and to my mother’s house and the new table into the dining room.
All of the miscellaneous donations have not been taken to the thrift store; therefore, the house has not been vacuumed, which means that the tree has not been put together. The weather was warm for a day, but the outside lights did not go up. None of the decorations or wrapping paper and bows have been brought down from the attic, so that answers the question on the status of those two items.
I have finished most of my shopping, except for ordering the online items, which should have been done first; however, since I lost my wallet, I don’t know that I’ll be able to do that part of my shopping, which means that one of my sons will have no presents, but the other son will, as will my daughter. Try explaining that one . . . No cards have been addressed. No presents have been wrapped. And in fact, the house is more cluttered now because I have brought in more things, but we have not taken out anything. Go figure.
This is what I have done since Monday: I’ve had a doctor’s appointment on Monday with my primary care physician at which I learned that I’ve gained weight (hooray, wonderful, let’s eat more holiday food), and I was chastized for letting my two most important meds run out because of lack of funds. They drained vials of blood and made an appointment for me to come back in three months. After that upbeat appointment, Corey and I spent about five hours Christmas shopping, trying to be very frugal with our funds, limiting the stores that we went to, but still managing to spend money. I came home exhausted and fell face first into bed. My entire body hurt everywhere.
I checked up on my friend’s eight-week-old niece who is in the hospital with a lung infection. I have to tell you that this particular situation is really freaking me out. Having a close friend who has a baby relative in the hospital always makes me freak out. It’s just too close to home. I don’t like it. I relive things. Luckily, she is improving, and they (those in charge) are hoping for good changes in the next couple of days.
On Tuesday, I took my youngest son to a doctor’s appointment, and then he agreed to go with me to finish my Christmas shopping. Brett does not usually like to do extended outings with me, so I took him up on this offer. Corey was supposed to finish the dining room while we were out. Brett and I were out for almost seven hours, long enough for a Chick fil ‘a (sp?) lunch and Krispy Kreme donuts for him, Starbucks for me. We found some really good deals, and I stuck to my list, mostly.
We came home to what I thought would be a finished dining room, only to find out that Corey wanted me to come home so quickly because his cigarettes were in the truck and he didn’t have any at home. Dining room unfinished. Entire body hurt. Fell into bed face first, and didn’t write a blog for the first night in December. Hurt too bad to notice or care.
Wednesday saga already written about so not going into that again. Thursday’s schedule: appointment at 9:45 a.m. Friday’s schedule: dr.’s appointment at 9:45 a.m. Still have to buy Christmas stamps for cards. Still have to mail package to Lima, Ohio for Corey’s parents. Really would like to get it there for Christmas this year so that his parents don’t think that we have completely forgotten about them. But that means finding a box and going to the post office. Yuck. Hate that. Always a line.
Forgot to get all of the stocking stuffers in my 16 hours of shopping. Still have to make a stocking for Tillie. Of course the dogs have their own stockings. What kind of humans do you think that we are that our dogs wouldn’t have their own personalized stockings? I’m not making Shakes wear his Santa hat this Christmas except maybe on Christmas morning. Promise to take pictures and post them. Tillie is wearing a jingle bell collar. She’s not sure she likes it, though.
I’m really hoping that at some point tomorrow, I can get the dining room finished and get started on the tree. Brett has agreed to attempt to wrap the lights on the tree for me this year. Don’t know how I talked him into that, but I’ve decided to shut my mouth and be happy with however he does it because the reality is that I cannot possibly do it without putting myself into traction between the back and the useless arm. I think that he agreed to do the lights since I agreed to use clear lights on the tree instead of colored lights. Usually we use colored lights inside, but I agreed to clear this year.
See, I can be amenable to change. I don’t always have to have things my way. Of course, it’s easier if you ask me for something when I’m too tired to put up a fight. Then I’ll pretty much say yes to anything because I’m not really paying attention, and you can hold me to it the next day. Just preface it by saying, “but Mom, you said last night that you would . . .” or “but honey, you said last night that . . .” and there really isn’t much that I can do because once I’m in this heightened state of exhaustion, everyone in the family knows that I’m like that poker player with a glaring tell: easy to bet against. And I can have a complete conversation with you on the phone while I’m asleep, be completely cogent-sounding, and not remember a single thing. Now that’s scary, not to mention a bit unsettling—for me, that is.
A Few of My Favorite Things
Here are a few things that I love about this time of the year because you can only find or get them now:
Starbucks Christmas blend coffee;
Starbucks gingerbread loaf with cream cheese icing;
Red and green peanut M&M’s (they’re just cuter);
Corey likes the Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes (too sweet for me);
All of the Lindor truffles are easy to find;
I get to watch Scrooge with Albert Finney while I wrap presents
Getting Christmas cards in the mail (I still love to receive them, but very few people actually send them any more);
Christmas stockings (everyone in the family has a homemade stocking, and finding out what is in your stocking on Christmas morning is always a surprise);
The candy cane-shaped holder full of mini Reese’s cups
And best of all, Christmas carols on the radio all day on Christmas day
I’ll let you know more later on how the whole timeline thing is going.