Month: December 2012

The baking begins.

I finally got some baking done this holiday season. I baked pumpkin bread, cranberry bread, pumpkin cookies, chocolate orange cookies, and chocolate chip cherry cookies so far. I have several more types to bake this weekend, but it is a start.

After not wanting to do anything really this week, I can’t believe that I caught the bug to bake and toss stuff. I have gone through part of my kitchen now and started to toss things we don’t need. I have too much crap that is never used.

This is a problem as it means the things I do need, or want to make my life easier, have nowhere to go. I figure it will take me the better part of a month to go through it all, since I can’t stand for long periods of time and so much of it is above my head, even when standing. It is a start though.

I finally have a plan for getting rid of all the things we never use, or haven’t touched since we moved in here. If it isn’t a photograph and it hasn’t been touched in two years? We don’t need it. I’m tired of the over abundance of stuff.

This is really disjointed tonight, but I have had very little sleep and have a long day tomorrow. I need to finish this and go wrap everything up in the kitchen and grab a couple hours more sleep before the day.

Oh Night

Oh Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, the night when Christ was born;
Oh night, Oh Holy Night , Oh night divine!
Oh night, Oh Holy Night , Oh night divine!

Once Thanksgiving has gone and we are heading toward December I love listening to Christmas music. Prior to that day though, I cannot stand it. It isn’t that the music is less beautiful before that day, but that we rush the year along too fast.

We start the holiday season earlier and earlier every year. This year, back in August, while back to school supplies were still all over the stores, Christmas snuck in. In the seasonal aisles of the stores ornaments, wreaths and lights began to appear.

There was still Labor Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving to go, but Santa was everywhere already. The aisles had very little by way of Halloween decorations or costumes, until right before Halloween. My love of all things Halloween is known far and wide. I should be allowed to spent more than a week buying decorations and costume items.

That isn’t all of it though. We rush the whole year away. Starting from January 1st of each new year, we look forward to the next big thing. January we look toward Valentine’s Day with fake roses, cheap chocolates and stuffed animals taking over the shelves before all the Christmas clearance is even sold. Before Valentine’s is gone, Easter is taking over.

We rush it. Life is short. If we are lucky we get 76 or so years on the planet. Less than 28,000 days to be here, to be present, to enjoy our families, children, friends. Why do we rush it?

That is why the Christmas music has to wait. I want to enjoy each day, take them as they come. That is another reason I am really not a big fan of this holiday season. The rush and bustle and no time to just sit and enjoy your day.

It is all just run, run, run. Bake this. Wrap that. Decorate for this. Oh, no you forgot that. There is no time to just sit back, under the tree lights and enjoy the soft glow. You aren’t allowed to do that.

Except, I did just that today. I had a migraine when I woke up, so instead of doing the dozen things I had scheduled for today, I turned on the tree lights, turned off the computer, the cellphone, and just rested. When, I was awake, the lights were just enough to make the room look beautiful without overwhelming my brain.

When, I slept, they were there in my dreams. One day, where my body forced me to take the time to enjoy the tree, to think about my family, my friends and my life. One day where I enjoyed the Christmas season without rushing or hurting myself or worrying about what to do next.

I know tomorrow I have to make up what I didn’t finish today. I have to wrap and bake and finish up our preparations for the season. But, today I just let it be.

Willie and Trigger

In response to a post on MetaFilter

Back in 2008, when I was diagnosed with cancer I made a damn bucket list. While, I hate the term, I was scared and there were so many things I hadn’t experienced yet at the whopping age of 33. It was a fairly short one, but one of the most important things on the list to me was seeing Willie Nelson in concert.

I spent a lot of 2008 and 2009 in and out of the hospital. Between cancer related issues and repeated infections (which they never found the cause of) I spent more time in the hospital than out. A couple months into 2009, we heard that Willie was coming to a couple hours from our home.

Now, we knew the chance I was going to be in the hospital was large, but my husband bought the tickets anyway, and we waited. June 2, 2009 in Glen Allen, Virginia. Coming through May I was in the hospital, a lot. I just knew there was no way Willie was happening.

Then, my body seemed to magically get better, the infections went away, I was able to move a bit more. I was down to just a small patch of healing incision from my months earlier surgery. We were going to do it.

We left for the show, hours early, knowing I needed to get there in plenty of time for us to slowly wheel me in, so it didn’t aggravate any of the painful areas on my incision, or my flesh where the infections had been. Fear of the heat made us carry water filled battery operated fans for me, as well.

We got to the grounds, found a very close space, a handicapped one that was magically still empty, got my wheelchair out and got in line to go in. The gate crew saw how gingerly my husband was having to move me and let us go in a few minutes early.

We settled into the general admission field, me in my wheelchair, my husband in his camp chair, and waited. A good sounding local band opened up, and as their set was winding down, a bus pulled up directly behind the stage. The crowd murmured, the lights came up, it was intermission.

We didn’t move. I was afraid to attempt to go anywhere for a drink or the bathroom, that we’d never get back into the spot we had. Then, without any warning, he walked on stage. No pyrotechnics, no smoke and mirrors, Willie just walked to his spot, in front of his microphone, with trigger around him, and strummed the first note.

Tears streamed down my face and I completely lost myself in his music. Willie is one of just a couple musicians that transcend genre to me. One of the few that I would listen to on a dime store kid’s toy, as there is something just magical about him.

For two hours this 76 year old long haired man didn’t stop playing. He played his music, some other country, some blues, some rock, a mix of music that no other musician I have ever seen would put together. The entire time the whole crowd was wrapped in Willie’s spell.

When he finally finished the show, he walked off the stage, directly to his bus, and it pulled out immediately. The crowd cheered as he drove away, finally seemingly snapping back to real life, and starting the walk out.

For just a couple minutes, my husband and I sat there, waiting until it was safer for me to move, holding hands and smiling at one another. Throughout the show I had cried on and off. Joy at finally seeing one of my heroes, sadness at all we had been through to get me to that point, and just pure elation at the amazing amount of love those around us had for the man on stage.

Right before we left, I kissed my husband and thanked him for having faith that I would be well enough to make the show, even when it looked like it would never be possible. Willie’s music is part of a soundtrack to my life and I can’t imagine him playing any guitar other than Trigger.

Monday is…

Deadline day. I have an entry from yesterday, half-written, but it deserves much more time for me to finish it.

Today, you get a short bit about my little nephew, Shawn.

My sister, Katie, his Mom has a tradition of making a paper and construction paper fireplace and chimney and placing it on the wall of her living room. Now, she does this so that Santa can use it to magically come into the house on Christmas eve. Awesome right? She really is an great Mom with cool ideas.

Well, today, Coren, Shawn’s little brother, was pretending the fire was going to get him and I told him he needs to be careful, if he ripped the chimney Santa couldn’t get in. Coren stopped, immediately, and quit what he was doing.

Shawn, who is the most serious little boy ever, looked at me and said, “Pooh (cause the kids all call me Aunt Pooh) he can just come in through the door.” What other little kid would come up with that? He’s four.

The kid is just too logical for my own damn good. Happy Monday.

Saturday Comedy Night

Tonight is the monthly comedy night at Riverboat on the Potomac. My little town, thanks to the amazing Irwin Loring, gets some nationally known comedians once a month. Tonight we get Adam Dodd, who has been on tour all year with two other comedians.

We’re lucky as this is a town of 3500, but we really do get some great comedians. My absolute favorite is Mike Eagan. In fact, if you ask him I am the president of his Tidewater Virginia/Southern Maryland fan club (the one that doesn’t actually exist, but, I am still president damn it.)

Next month, over in Southern Maryland Jackie “the joke man” Marling is doing a show with Irwin’s company, too. Mike Winslow (of Police Academy fame) did a couple shows for him last month. It really is amazing how you can see national comedians close to home if you have a great comedy group, and comedy group manager, who brings them around. I’m off with my husband and I will be taking pictures to share. Especially of Adam’s opening song as seeing him look scared at the fat woman while he sings his opening song is hilarious.

Have a great Saturday night.