Enjoying life's adventures in a secluded mountain cabin

Archive for December, 2011

365

This is the last day of 2011 and it is just so hard for me to accept that.  I know people are always saying how this year or that year has just flown by, but for me, 2011 really has!  So many things have happened this year, both good and bad.  So many things have changed in my life.  So much newness to get used to.  So much happiness, regret, disappointment, loss, achievement, sadness and joy all packed into just 365 days!  Looking back on it all just blows me away.

I know that I previously stated somewhere in this past year that I was going to write something, anything, each and every day.  And I also know that I’ve not done that.  Sadly.

Mountain Man made a really good point the other night.  He was talking about how he hoped I would get back to writing.  I told him that I haven’t been writing because I felt like anything I put down would just be sad and depressing given my current frame of mind over the past few months.  But he brought up a good point.  One that I know to be true about myself but hadn’t really considered lately.

I’m one of those people who writes not only because I enjoy it, but when something’s bothering me, especially if it’s sad and personal, writing helps me work through it.  Writing about it helps to get my thoughts out of my head and helps ease the sadness and the pain associated with whatever is going on.  Even if I only write about it in a journal and no one else ever reads it.  But, I felt like I couldn’t write anymore because I knew that whatever spilled out of me would be depressing.

With his encouragement though came this great urgency to put on my big girl panties, cowgirl up, and just do it!  I’m one of those people who gets down on herself from time to time and sometimes, I just need a little push from the right people to get on with it and do what I know I’m supposed to be doing.

With that in mind, I think I’m gonna try the 365 project starting tomorrow.  I honestly don’t know if I can pull it off but I’m damn sure gonna give it my all.  Even if it’s just one measly little sentence a day, I’m going to write something every day of 2012.

God willing and the creek don’t rise.

Wish me luck!

Unexpected Happiness

How many of you out there consider yourselves to be Type A people?  I don’t fall completely into that category, but I do have strong tendencies toward it.  And I used to be a whole lot worse.  Little things would get to me so badly.  Spilled milk would literally bring me to tears at times.  Especially if the milk were spilled right after I’d mopped the floor which usually was the only time that ever seemed to happen.  Looking back, I can laugh now at just how ridiculous this reaction was.  I’ve lightened up and let go quite a bit in the last few years.

However, there are still things that just make my skin crawl and illicit strange reactions, usually laced with a slew of profanities that are normally reserved for the really bad things in life.  Things that don’t seem to affect the Type B people in the world.  Things like spilling something on my clothes; mud tracked on the floors, especially if I’ve just swept or mopped; mascara being smudged on my face instead of my eyelashes in a hurried, frenzied attempt to get ready when I’m running late; people who cannot drive and should not be allowed to operate a vehicle, but always decide to pull out in front of me when I’m in a hurry.

And then, there’s the one that inspired me to write today.  And this is something I’ve done more often than I care to admit.

How many of you have went to cook/bake something and only after you’ve started realized that you didn’t have all the ingredients needed to make whatever it was you were cooking/baking?  Now, you’d think as many times as I’ve done this that I’d look and make sure that I have everything necessary before undertaking anymore cooking/baking.  Nope.  Not me.  I still find this happening at least once or twice every few months.  And the stress levels are always higher during the holidays, which leads to me forgetting ingredients even more so than usual, which also leads into a much more dramatic meltdown when the moment actually arrives when I figure out that I don’t have what’s needed and necessary to complete my cooking/baking.

This year was no different, as far as the forgetting goes.

We made cookies for Santa this year, just like a lot of folks do.  We were going to make Mountain Man’s Mom’s sour cream cookies, but we waited too long and ended up just making some plain old sugar cookies.  I don’t think Santa has a preference on cookies, but those sour cream cookies are pretty darn tasty.  Well, that was strike one.  I really had my heart set on making those cookies this year.  But, I put all that aside and just went with the easier sugar cookie recipe that I could whip up rather quickly.  No melt down.  Not yet, anyway.

We got the cookies baked and set them aside to cool while we all got ready to go to my family’s Christmas get-together on Christmas Eve.  We planned to decorate them that night once we returned from the big family festivities.  Waiting until late Christmas Eve to decorate Santa’s cookies with a seven year old, strike two.  Last minute things always stress me out.  I’m a planner.  A doer.  I don’t like feeling rushed.  I get sweaty and I just wanna throw up.  But, I put all that aside and I tried just rolling with the punches.  Playing it by ear.  Enjoying the moment and not stressing about the time crunch.  Santa surely wouldn’t stop by while we were still decorating cookies for him?  Would he?  And surely he wouldn’t just skip right over our house if we were still up at midnight covered in frosting and enjoying a little sugar high from all the cookies and frosting we were eating and licking off our fingers during this little last minute Christmas project?

Now, for me, having these two things already going against every grain and fiber of my being to just slip into a full on holiday melt down, but refraining and actually relaxing and embracing the new and last minuteness of all this Christmas madness was a feat in and of itself.  I was so proud of myself at this point.

Then, it happened.

Somewhere around 10 o’clock, Christmas Eve, after mixing the four or five bowls of frosting up, I opened the cabinet to get the food coloring out so I could tint the frosting for the cookies.  See the pattern here, after mixing the frosting, then and only then, did I look for my other essential ingredient.  Bright red, vivid green, bold blue, vibrant yellow.  You know, Christmas colors.  Guess what we were out of?  Yep, you got it.  Red, green, blue and yellow food coloring.  And I just knew we had these items in the house.  I knew it!  I pulled every single item out of that cabinet looking for those elusive colors.  They weren’t there.

However, we did have a box of neon food coloring.  Neon food coloring.  Who has neon food coloring just lying around their kitchen?  I can’t even begin to imagine what I’d bought those colors for.  Oh, wait.  It just came to me.  I bought them for decorating little girl’s birthday cakes.  So anyway, in this box of neon colors, we had fabulous shades of purple, pink, yellow/green and blue.  Absolutely not anything that even remotely resembled Christmas colors!

I could feel the demon rising inside me.  I could feel the melt down coming on.  I’d been able to keep it at bay with the other two things that usually would’ve set me off.  Why oh why hadn’t I checked to make sure we’d had the right colors for Christmas cookies?  How could I have over looked something so important?  And on Christmas Eve!  Of all days to forget something so crucial!!!!  What was wrong with me???  How could I be so stupid!!!!???!!!!

None of these thoughts found their way to my mouth.  Thank God!  And about the time the sweat beads started to form and the nausea was just about to kick in and the words were ready to spill out, Mountain Man came to the rescue.  God love him.  He’s one of those Type B people.  At times like these, I envy him so much.  I think he knew I was fixing to just dissolve into tears because he walked over and touched me gently and started explaining how it didn’t matter that we didn’t have the traditional Christmas colors for our Christmas cookies.  They didn’t have to be bright red, vivid green, bold blue or vibrant yellow to be Christmasy.  We’d have funky, psychedelic Christmas cookies this year!

He explained to me that the best memories are sometimes born out of the most unexpected things.  And he’s right.  I knew in that moment that he was right and I could actually feel my melt down start to dissipate as he spoke.  The little beads of sweat just went away and my nauseousness disappeared.  Mountain Man talked about one day in the far off future, how his little girl would always remember the psychedelic funky Christmas cookies from the year we didn’t have any regular food colors.  And I really hope he’s right.  I hope we talk about the funky Christmas cookies for many years to come.  My youngest son still talks about the year that I sprinkled nutmeg all over the turkey instead of poultry seasoning because I was in a hurry and grabbed the wrong thing out of the cabinet.  I freaked out thinking the turkey would be awful, but it turned out to be one the best ones I ever made.  And he will always remember that.

Change can be a very scary thing for some people.  It can be a terrifying thing for us Type A people.  And even though I’m not on the extreme side of the Type A spectrum, I do know that I have tendencies to go overboard sometimes.  I like to think that our funky psychedelic Christmas cookies helped me overcome a great obstacle in life.  I hope that I can approach all future cooking/baking dilemmas where I’ve forgotten a seemingly crucial ingredient with a different attitude.  One with hope and optimism instead of profanities spewing and nausea inducing stress.  Perhaps it’ll even spill over to different areas of my life as well.

I’ve just got to keep reminding myself that it’s the little things in life that mean so much.  Especially the unexpected ones.

I have to thank my Mountain Man for pointing this out to me and reminding me that this would be something wonderful to write about.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.

What Is This World Coming To?

How many of you have seen this Christmas commercial?

Or this one?

Or how ’bout this one?

This one’s just terrible, awful!!!  I think it repulses me the most out of all the Best Buy Christmas commercials this year.  The Mom in this commercial is practically threatening to kick poor Santa off the roof!

What in the name of Kris Kringle is going on with the world today?  When did it become acceptable to mock Santa Claus?    How on earth did we, as a society, get to this sad and pitiful state of taunting Santa when he’s bringing us toys and goodies?  When did this become ok?  I’m just totally confused and outraged by this whole ugly mess.

I mean, Santa Claus is supposed to be revered and looked upon with wonder and magic and happiness and goodness.  He’s not supposed to be made fun of and mocked and made to look like a fool by bargain hunting, one-upping Moms!  Even though I am one of those bargain hunting Moms, I’m not about to be mean to Santa!  No way!  Nu-uh!  Not me!

How on earth can we expect to keep the magic of Santa Claus alive and well in society if this becomes the new norm for which we perceive the jolly old man who was always so good to all of us when we were little kids?  A man who still makes the season bright and joyous for many of us adults out there who still believe?

And before any of you start thinking I’m discounting Jesus, I just want to say that I am completely aware of the real reason for the season.  But in this little rant of mine, I’m only focusing on what the world is doing to Saint Nick.  What the world has done, for centuries, to Jesus is a whole other topic all together.  Oh, and you don’t need to call the people in the white coats to come haul me away for believing in Santa, either.  I will always and forever believe in Santa.  No matter what!

But, back to my rant.  I’m really bothered by these Best Buy ads.  And I’ve always liked Best Buy.  It really saddens me to think that they are perpetuating this awful behavior towards a man whose only purpose in life is to bring joy to all those who believe in him.  I can’t even to begin to imagine what all the little kids who are watching these tacky and tasteless commercials are thinking.  How can we, as parents, ever expect to be able to use the old “Santa Claus is watching you” threat to enlist good behavior during all the holiday madness after our kids have seen a Mom being mean to him on television?

Oh, don’t judge.  All you parents out there know you’ve uttered these words at least once a season since your kids were old enough to pitch a fit during a shopping trip/holiday party/family get-together/Christmas play/insert your own holiday scenario here.

But beyond the threat of no presents and reindeer poop in stockings, Santa’s supposed to represent all the love and goodness in this sometimes cruel world of ours for our children.  And for some of us adults, too.  Santa makes the season so magical and wonderful and full of delight and merriment.

Surely to goodness this will just be a one time, bad, poor, ugly choice of advertising for Best Buy and we’ll never, ever see any of these disgusting commercials again.

And Santa, if you’re reading my blog, just know that I still believe and if you decide to leave reindeer poop in the stockings of all the good folks over at Best Buy, we’d all understand and not think any less of you.

So Blessed


This was what I woke up to this morning and this gal couldn’t have been happier!

Feeling so very blessed.

Blessed and busy!

What I Learned Today

I always try to learn something new each and every day.  More often than not, it’s usually just something little and mundane that really doesn’t matter at the time.  But in the long run and the grand scheme of things, all those little things eventually mix and meld together and they combine with all the bigger lessons of life and encompass all the knowledge and wisdom that I hold near and dear in this world.

Well today, my lesson wasn’t what I might classify as a little thing, but more of a life lesson, and it sometimes astounds me that there are still life lessons out there to be learned at my age.  Not that I’m old or anything, but sometimes I find that I’m a little full of myself and think that I’ve already learned all of the life lessons out there.  And it’s in those moments when I’m absolutely sure that I know all there is to know about something that God decides to put me in my place, as He should.

So my lesson in humility for the day….

I can only do what I can do.  No more, no less.

God has a way of quietly whispering this to me at times and screaming it in my face at others.  But He always gets His point across.

I made myself a promise a while back that I was gonna write something, anything, each and every single day.  Then, my world came crashing down all around me, and as usual, I poured my heart and soul into trying to pick up the pieces and fix everything.  I’m a fixer.  It’s in my nature.  I can’t help it.  So, again, I ignored my promise to myself and stopped writing… again.

While I was in the midst of picking up pieces and attempting to fix everything, I had an epiphany… again.  I had to learn the hard way that I have absolutely no control over other people, yet again.  It was an illusion that I whole heartedly believed with every fiber of my being concerning him.  I just knew that if I did everything right, I could shape his life and help him change his stars, and who knows?  Perhaps, I really have done these things and the fruits of my labor are just yet to be seen.  But right now, in this moment, I can only do what I can do.  No more, no less.

Do you know how horribly difficult it is for someone like me to accept this absolute truth in life?  God keeps trying to teach me that He’s the one in control.  But, sometimes that’s just so hard for me to accept.  But for now, in this moment, I think I’ve finally got the message, loud and clear this time.

I can only do what I can do.  No more, no less.

But that does not mean that my faith is gone.  No, no, no.  Far from it.  My perpetual hope in him to eventually find his path in life and remember all the lessons I’ve taught him and mature into the wonderful man that I’ve always known he was gonna be when he grows up is still there and I still believe.  I will always believe.

But…

I can only do what I can do.  No more, no less.

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