Monday, December 21, 2020

Finding Pleasures

 Good morning and welcome to the shortest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) which means it's also the longest night of the year.  It's always a gray time of the year here in Northeast Ohio -- we crave sunshine as there's still a big hunk of winter weather ahead!?!  So today, I have few quick ideas to share that are helping me stay hopeful as we finish out this epic year.

First I want to call your attention to a thoughtful knitter from England who hit the nail on the head for me yesterday with her Instagram post when she shared she is missing the "markers" in her life that give her a sense of time and place!!  Bingo!!  She says it better -- her Instagram handle is @adventuresinwool  

That inspired me to start watching for even the littlest "markers" like the Christmas rose buds lifting up outside the window to reset my sense of time.

Next, do you have your phone set to notify you every time something happens?  A couple weeks ago when our power was out for 18 hours, my phone battery was very low so in an attempt to extend it's life, I turned off all my notifications.  One reason I haven't turned them back on is that I can't remember how I did it in the first place but I think not having the pinging of Facebook and e-mail and Instagram and weather has been very nice. (Could I be feeling a bit calmer?!?)

Miraculously, I lost weight since the Covid restrictions began in spite of a strong fascination with making sourdough anything.
But that all changed about two weeks ago and the scale is snickering at me.  The winter/holiday calories are stalking me for sure.  I know what the problem is -- not enough vegetables -- I don't like many vegetables so I get lazy about eating them during the winter.  Yesterday's resolve is to have a smoothie for lunch the rest of the week -- nip this weight gain in the bud and probably feel better in the process (and be able to eat an entire fruitcake by myself).  
Join me??
This cooking everyday, every meal is getting to be a bit of a drag.  I'm a scratch cook but a lazy meal planner and there are days when I don't think far enough ahead and finally remember around 3 p.m., I need a plan.  
Tell me you do the same?
My favorite last minute recipe these days is Shredded Chicken from Inspired Taste -- ready fast and  quite versatile -- check it out HERE.   Also crushing on fish tacos with slaw instead of salsa.
 (And let me know if you find another good recipe while you are browsing there!!)

I'm a process Christmas decorator anyway and so most days, I'm remembering to do something to build personal holiday pleasure.  After a big windstorm 10 days ago, I foraged a few pine boughs from neighbors and plucked some things from my garden and spent a mild morning making a centerpiece for the dining room table.  
No one will see it except me and my daughter, but I enjoy doing this.  It has been a favorite annual tradition (marker!) for many years.  I'm not dragging out everything this year but I have chosen to do the decorating I enjoy the most like this swag of Santa ornaments over the fireplace (another marker!).
Finally, I'm not making as many last minute gifts this year but when I do, I'm using the FUN fabrics -- not stashing them any longer.  Look at this cute pencil pouch I made for my grandson!
It's a pillow panel (which I couldn't live without but haven't figured out what to do with it) and it's perfect for the "map making" supplies I gathered up for his Christmas gift.
Monday, I stopped by the neighborhood quilt shop to pick up a book and spotted this delightful Christmas fabric -- without hesitation I snagged the end of the bolt and a couple coordinates.
It was crying out to be used ASAP.  Pillowcases have to be one of the universally quick makes for folks like us who have stashes of fabric.  I've made quite a few for my grandchildren but never any for myself.  So yesterday afternoon, I made this pair for me!
Cheers the bedroom right up and even though the quilt doesn't fit this bed perfectly, I use it for December because it's one of my favorites and perfect for the season.
Relief seems to be on the horizon but we'll still need to be patient and kind to see this through to the end. (If you haven't already watched Stephen Colbert's interview with the Biden's on YouTube, I encourage you to do so!)
 Be kind to yourself this season so you have the stamina to be kind to others.
Keep the season simple and positive.
Think about the markers that give you a sense of stability in your world and make sure they happen in some way, even if it's not the usual way!
Make this holiday season unique and we'll talk again in the New Year!



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your post, Mary. It is a timely reminder to look for markers as my sense of time has crumbled. I have enjoyed reading your blog for some time now and rarely respond with a comment. Your home looks cheery and I hope you and your daughter have a great Christmas.