To-do list

  • Reorganize jewelry.  I’m thinking either find a cool tree branch to use as a hanger, or possibly dig out that shadow box and re-purpose it (or both?).
  • Clean my kitchen.  Purge/organize.  Start Goodwill box.
  • Clean the bathroom, for heavens sake.  This room could also stand some reorganization….
  • After taking down Christmas decorations, decide if I want to move the love seat back into the living room and move the chair back to the library.  Would free up some room in the library and create more seats in living room.
  • Get back door fixed.
  • Make flask covers for myself and Stephen (should have done this in time for NYE eh?)

Tomorrow, I’m off.  I’m thinking of ways to comfortably spend the day outside, reading.  Hm.  I guess I have a fire pit in my back yard, but the door is broken ATM and the back yard looks trashy anyway.  (I cannot wait for Ryan to get his stuff moved out.  You don’t even know.)  I have visions of Percy Warner and lots of warm blankets.  Don’t know how well this would work, though.  Might just hit up a coffee shop with cozy chairs – like JJ’s or something.  Wonder how busy coffee shops will be on New Year’s Day, or if they’ll even be open?  OK, so I could just stay home and make myself coffee.  Hm.  I wonder if Stephen would be up for being mobile.  He’s feeling better but still coughing a lot and doesn’t have much energy.

(Oh good news!  My landlord is having a contractor come to look at my back door, so I probably will not have to get it fixed myself.  How nice!)

(Oh and more good news!  We’re probably going to be closing at 3:00 again today!  Yay for holidays!)

Although I will say that my introvert is not looking forward to going out tonight.  I’m not a fan of staying up past midnight unless I’m engrossed in something that has made me forget to check the time; I’m going to a party tonight where Stephen will be the only person I know, and I’m trying not to dread it.  Not working too awfully well at the moment.  This is why I mentioned flasks earlier.  Will gird myself with courage later.

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assorted pictures

blog - dumplins 2
Chicken n dumplins I made for dinner last night — omg they’re so good
blog - dumplins
shamelessly showing off my new Le Creuset here
blog - quilt
quilt I made for Anna Laura/Marshall/Mary (although Mary really shouldn’t be touching it too much….eh heh…I didn’t do the best job with the star applique and with some help they could easily look much worse than they do)
blog - clutch
clutch I made for Rosa – sorry for the horrible quality of the picture
blog - satchel
final version of Liesl’s apothecary satchel (replica from Skyrim)
apothecary satchel
first version of the apothecary’s satchel, which got over 100,000 views on Imgur and 2000 upvotes on reddit. not exactly the best thing I’ve ever done, but at least the most seen.
blog - purse
purse I made for Carla….

I failed to take a picture of the knife holder that I tooled for Joel.  Hm, I DID take a picture of the TARDIS journal I made for Havah but that doesn’t seem to have made it to my email this morning.  Oh well.  I also didn’t get pictures of the cow-themed mason jar coozies I made for Mom.  Blast.

Anyway – based on how quickly I churned these out (excepting the quilt which took forreeevvvver – or at least several months), I want to actually start selling them.  Stephen asked when he should start bugging me about it, and I said a couple of weeks into January.  So…..feel free to start bugging me yourself, if you feel so inclined.

Christmas recap, etc.

First, a poem.

A reading from the book of exile

chapter four

there are some things too meaningful for talking

and even feeling leaves us full of grief

at all we touch and need and

can never speak of

we are living lives that we can’t state the name of

we are loving things that

we can never bear

we attempt belief in things that we can not explain

and we rest uneasy in this

sometimesseemingcruelgame

and we rest with tension so

beautiful

its heartaching

(by Padraig O’ Tuama)

I have had a very full week.  I took Tuesday off, made 3 loaves of babka and prepped 4 linzertortes and made about 4 dozen rugelach.  I cleaned most of the house, and wrapped presents.  On Wednesday, I went to Jeff and Tammy’s and was happy to see that family (especially Bill who I hadn’t seen in quite a long time).  After, I picked up Stephen and we went to Knoxville to see the Reeves.  Christmas Day was very typical – stockings, then breakfast, then presents, then naps and general lethargy, then Aunt Carol and Uncle Walter’s for dinner and more presents.  We headed back to Nashville and got back before midnight, because I had to work on Friday.  We were able to leave work early though – around 3pm – and I then rushed to Stephen’s and we left for Chattanooga pretty much immediately.

We got to Stephen’s Mom’s house a bit late because of post-Christmas traffic, but we were still in time for dinner and to see Stephen’s nieces before they got too tired (and grumpy).  Dinner was steak, gravy, sweet potato casserole (a la Aunt Carol), mashed potatoes, roasted root veggies, cranberry salad (served with mayonnaise which was surprisingly not bad at all)….and I think I’m forgetting something.  Brussels sprouts maybe?  Hm.  Anyway – after dinner there were more presents, and then soon after was bed – which was very welcome.

Stephen has been sick for about a week and the medicine his PCP prescribed before Christmas wasn’t really helping.  So we went to a CVS clinic on Saturday morning and he was prescribed an antibiotic, an inhaler, and some cough medicine – maybe one other thing too.  That used up most of the morning, and when we got back to his Mom’s we both took naps.  Later in the day we played Dutch Blitz with his mom and his sister (it was actually kinda fun, even if I came in 3rd…), and had leftovers for dinner.  Made that Kahlua-brie bake again, and I made the fourth linzertorte of the season, and we sat around playing Carcassonne.  I was exhausted by this time and didn’t do a very good job of being social at all.  But.

Sunday was also low-key; we had bagels and lox for breakfast (er, everyone else had lox – I had bagel and cream cheese and veggies), and Stephen and I went out to a coffee shop for an hour or two.  I’ve started Cold Mountain finally, and am very much enjoying it so far.  It’s making me want to find a secluded field somewhere and read for hours.  Or even a sparsely-crowded coffee shop with overstuffed chairs would do.

Actually I think the real problem here is that I’m just over-peopled right now.  By a long shot.  I had a tiny breakdown on Saturday evening because of several little factors that added up to too much stress.  I’m such a homebody sometimes.

Overall though, I had a good Christmas.  I was glad to see my family and I think they mostly all liked my gifts to them.  I was glad to see Stephen’s family, and glad that he wanted me to go with him and also that they seem to like me.  I was glad to see the Ralston/Rogers/Kings too.  Now I’m going to be glad to sit at home and avoid socializing at least until NYE.

I would put up some pictures…..but I’ve somehow reached 75% of my data limit and don’t want to risk going over this month.  So!  Maybe this entry is interesting enough without pictures?

Well, today is my last day at work before Christmas starts.  I’m taking tomorrow off, and we’re closed the 24th and 25th.  Am quite looking forward to spending all day tomorrow baking – I’m going to make linzertortes, babka, and rugelach.  It’s going to be very good-smelling at my house tomorrow.

I finished 99% of my Christmas gifts.  Some of them have turned out better than others, so if you get one that isn’t as great as someone else’s, I’m very sorry.  I really put a lot of time into all of them, so….  (Though Anna Laura/Marshall/Mary’s gift was the most time-consuming, but it’s partly a new baby gift as well, so you know.  It’s totally fair.)  Just have to wrap them up tonight, and clean my living room which is covered in crafting supplies and trash.  Probably mostly trash.  It’ll look great once I have everything cleaned up and wrapped, which I hope to have done by tomorrow morning so that I can just focus on baking all day.

This Christmas is so far worlds better than last Christmas.  It’s odd to remember how I felt about life last year, and compare it to where I am right now.  Last year, I knew that my life would get better eventually, and the light at the end of the tunnel (a poor analogy which I’m going to blame on weak coffee this morning) was getting slowly brighter, but I wasn’t happy.  I didn’t feel festive, and I had to force myself to do the Christmas things that I generally do with relish – such as getting gifts for family, decorating, baking, watching Christmas movies, etc.

This holiday season has felt like the best Christmas gift ever, compared with last year.  I spent this last weekend at Stephen’s, making gifts and listening to the Nutcracker and feeling so content – while he spent most of the weekend working on the couch next to me.  It was so lovely.  I may be introverted but I adore having someone around (preferably someone I can go kiss every now and then) who doesn’t feel the need to talk all the time.

Uh, anyway, will stop it with the mushiness.  But just saying – this year SO much more enjoyable than last.

BTW.  Janet posted this on FB yesterday, and I almost cried.  Sarah is the most gorgeous 7-year-old in the world.  (Cropped out her friends because their parents probably wouldn’t appreciate their picture on my blog….)

sarah

gifts, etc

So!  Due to poor planning and poor decision-making skills, I have scrapped half of my original plans for Christmas presents and have been coming up with new ideas all week.  Yes, I realize that Christmas is exactly a week from today.  I have 5.5 gifts completely finished, which leaves a mere 5.5 to complete.  Actually, I have 6.75 finished – so 4.25 to go.  I forgot about one.  So yeah – can totally finish 4.25 gifts in 3-4 days.  Then Tuesday I’ll devote to cleaning the house and baking, so that I can (I hope) take it easy on Wednesday until I have to start traveling.

The Reeves are doing a cookie exchange this year, which is new.  I usually do bake cookies around Christmastime, so will probably do rugelach and something else.  Or maybe just rugelach.  Everyone always seems to like that stuff, and they’re fun to make.  Rugelach and linzertorte (for Christmas dinner, and probably will take one to Jeff and Tammy’s)…and maybe a chocolate babka.  That one I made a few years ago was SO GOOD.  Hm.  Will probably depend on whether I get all the gifts finished (and wrapped) by Monday.

Anyway.  I guess I’m blogging because I can’t actually make anything right now.  Hmph.  I’m looking forward to being able to blog about the cool gifts I’m making this year……..

this coffee is abysmal

somehow, I’m mostly awake though.

went to Knoxville this weekend, and Stephen needed to get some writing done so we went to Golden Roast on Sunday morning.  they had these succulents sitting in the window sill.  HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO GROW LIKE THIS.  like seriously wtf.

succulent succulent 2

Miscellaneous Blog Entry

First of all — let me say, in regards to my most recent post, that my sister had her baby on Sunday and merely seeing pictures of mini-Anna-Laura on FB practically makes me want my own.  My friend Cathy and I talked about kids last week, and she said what I basically knew – that it’s not normally a logical, metered decision to have a child.  And I said as much in my rant from last week, too, but the way I phrased it sounded much more bitter than the way Cathy did.

Anyway.  So other stuff that’s been going on includes getting my Christmas tree a couple of days ago (obligatory picture…..)

christmas tree

Stephen came over and helped me put it up (we’re doing his tree tonight), and we drank White Russians while watching the Big Lebowski after getting it set up and decorated.  OH – and he found this recipe for baked brie which was AMMMAAAAZING.

cheese

Try it.  It was phenomenal.

Also I need to buckle down and get to working on all your Christmas presents, for crying outloud!!  I DID finally mail Liesl’s on Monday, and I hope it gets there before the 25th.  If not, oh well.  Late Christmas presents can be fun, too.  I’m 89% finished with Anna Laura & Marshall & Mary’s gift (how odd to include another person in that!) but then I need to start on the rest, heh.  I’ve been obviously very organized this year…..guh.  And last night, instead of being productive at all, I watched American Horror Story (recommend the 3rd season so far – features Kathy Bates who has been one of my favorites ever since Misery) and went to bed early.  Er, got in bed early.  Heh.  Hey, even if it wasn’t a productive evening, I sure the hell enjoyed it.

I guess that’s all I have to say at the moment.  So.

rant in which I do not want or mean to hurt any feelings whatsoever

If having kids is so great, why is so much of what I hear about it negative, or indifferent?  This includes talking to friends, overhearing conversations, reading stuff online, etc.  (I realize that most of my friends don’t have kids.  But still.)  I don’t have the desire to recreate myself – I think narcissism is a terrible reason to reproduce anyway.  I like being able to spend money on things that I want, instead of on tacky toys and clothing that will be outgrown in a few months.  I like having free time, and getting 8 hours of sleep, and being able to drink wine with dinner without feeling neglectful or irresponsible.

Seems to me that the biggest argument for having children (aside from biological urges which are not based in logic but in our innate need to preserve the species…at least by procreating, if not by keeping our habitat livable…which one is more important here?) is that you’re more likely to have people who’ll take care of you as you age.  Also it’s nice to have family, but I know I’ll have nieces/nephews so that’s not a huge concern – family is family, whether they come out of my vagina or someone else’s.

My question is…….are having children actually worth it?  I mean, you don’t hear the bards sing praises of raising kids like you hear them sing about falling in love.  Or do you, and I’m listening to the wrong music?

Really I’m feeling snarky about everything right now because one of my customers just called and basically told me that I’m doing my job wrong, when her coworker very clearly ordered (as in, read me the manufacturer’s number) the item she accused me of fucking up today.  So that made me want to throw mini bouncy-balls at her.  And the lady who sits in the adjacent cube was just talking about her most recently trip to the mall with her teen-aged daughter.  Both of these combined to make me decide that having children makes absolutely no sense at all unless you want them to take care of you in your old age (a safer route would seem to be a retirement fund), or if you just get off on having “mini-me’s” running around and feeling important in the world you’ve created in which you ARE important.

Anyway, I need to chill out now.  Rant is over.

EDIT: I had published this a couple of days ago but took it down because I felt like it was unnecessarily bitter. But two people have shared it so I figured I’d put it back up. Comments are welcome, and do know that I’m not feeling bitter about the subject at the moment! Sometimes I think I’d like having kids, sometimes I don’t. So when I have mixed feelings about something, my instinct is to analyze both sides logically – which is what the entry basically amounts to.